SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS’ PERSPECTIVES THAT ARE TRANSFORMING THE APPAREL INDUSTRY SOCIAL INNOVATION MAPPING FEBRUARY 2016
ABOUT C&A FOUNDATION
C&A Foundation is a private foundation affiliated with the global clothing retailer C&A. The Foundation works to transform fashion by helping to build an industry that respects the rights of workers, improves livelihoods, and conserves the environment. We work together with key partners to achieve the best results and greatest long term impact. From farmers to factory workers, we help build strong and resilient communities in all the countries we touch.
Ashoka is the largest global network of leading social entrepreneurs—individuals with new ideas to systemically address the world’s biggest challenges and the entrepreneurial skill to transform those ideas into national, regional, and global social impact. Over thirty years, we have supported more than 3,000 social entrepreneurs with solutions addressing society’s most pressing issues.
Ashoka Changemakers convenes and connects high-potential changemakers, their ideas, and their resources, through the power of collaborative competitions and partner networks. Together, we advance an “everyone a changemaker” world where people gain the skills and resources they need to collaborate on solving complex social problems. ashoka.org changemakers.com
Anshu Gupta, Goonj
Foreword C&A Foundation and Ashoka have partnered to launch Fabric of Change, a global initiative that promotes social innovations to ensure a sustainable and equitable apparel industry. This three-year partnership fosters social entrepreneurs and their ideas to advance our shared vision of fashion as a force for good. The global apparel industry is an important driver of economic growth and provides economic opportunities for millions of women and men around the world. However, the industry has often turned a blind eye toward its environmental and social impacts. This report is an invitation to re-envision the possibilities for systemic change in the industry through the eyes of social entrepreneurs.
By joining forces we can accelerate progress. We invite you to connect with Fabric of Change and its network of problem solvers. Let’s work together to act boldly to transform fashion into a force for good. To learn more, visit the Fabric of Change website: changemakers.com/fabricofchange
Social entrepreneurs tackle complex challenges and change patterns across society through tireless dedication and bold innovation to rethink problems and solutions. Based on the work of leading social entrepreneurs and insights from industry experts, this report identifies cross-cutting patterns that can unlock industry-wide transformation. Partners are crucial in enabling the impact of social entrepreneurs—alone, no single entity can solve the apparel industry’s most pressing problems. We hope that the insights in this report will inspire all actors— including government agencies, businesses, nonprofits, consumers, aspiring social innovators, and others—to think big, connect, and collaborate. We want to hear from you. This Social Innovation Mapping report will continue to evolve, and we want to include your perspective. Contact us at email@example.com to: • • •
Nominate social entrepreneurs to join the network and be considered for inclusion in future versions of this report; Share your expertise on the apparel industry and provide greater nuance to this report’s analysis; Join the conversation online to help raise awareness and expand the movement for industrywide change.
DFID - UK Department for International Development, Flickr
Table of Contents Executive Summary
Roadblocks to Industry Transformation
Unlocking a Sustainable Future Four Design Principles to Tackle Systemic Problems 1.
Unite More Than Voice: Tap Into Community Capital and Collective Resources Page 22
Four Barriers toTarget for Change
Hidden From View: Conditions in Forests, Farms, and Factories Are Only Visible to a Few Page 12
Activate Local Know-How for Driving Solutions: Build Opportunities for Workers to Become Leaders Page 24
A Job is Not Enough: Low-Income Workers Cannot Secure Long-Term Wellbeing Page 14
Disrupt Business as Usual: Target Key Players Who Can Influence the Bottom Line Page 26
C. Consumers Are Unaware or Unmotivated: Consumption Habits Are Hard to Shift Without Easy Avenues for Change Page 16 D. Sustainability is Not Yet in the DNA: The Current System Disincentivizes Value-Driven Business Page 18
APPENDIX A: About Social Innovation Mapping
APPENDIX B: Industry Experts Interviewed
Transform the Chain Into a Web: Link Unlikely Sectors to Open New Pathways to Sustainability Page 28
Meet the Social Entrepreneurs: 20 Models for Transforming the Apparel Industry
APPENDIX C: Endnotes
List of Figures Figure 1: Social Innovation Mapping: 3 Key Components for Understanding How Social Entrepreneurs Solve Complex Challenges Page 07
Figure 2: Social Innovation Matrix: Mapping of Social Entrepreneursâ€™ Solutions, Barriers Targeted, and Design Principles Applied Page 31
Figure 3: Pattern Figure 4: Pattern Figure 5: Characteristics Recognition Methodology 1 Recognition Methodology 2 of the Ashoka Fellows We Page 57 Page 58 Interviewed Page 61
Executive Summary This Social Innovation Mapping report is an invitation to re-envision a fair, sustainable apparel industry and a future in which all stakeholders are empowered to ensure that people and the planet are respected. Rooted in the perspectives of Ashoka Fellows, with additional insight from industry experts, this report reveals common patterns in the methods used by social entrepreneurs to create widespread change. These patterns are divided into Barriers and Design Principles. • •
Barriers are the actionable components of a complex problem that social entrepreneurs target, fix, or transform to achieve maximum impact; Design Principles are strategies for designing solutions that unlock system-wide change.
ROADBLOCKS TO INDUSTRY TRANSFORMATION: FOUR BARRIERS TO TARGET FOR CHANGE Barrier A - Hidden From View: Conditions in Forests, Farms, and Factories Are Only Visible to a Few Apparel supply chains are incredibly complex and decentralized, which has made full traceability exceedingly challenging. Today, most international clothing brands outsource manufacturing to large contractors that have their own networks of brokers, subcontractors, and sub-suppliers, which may further contract work to small factories and informal home workers. Brands often have no direct oversight of these increasingly fragmented tiers of supply chain relationships. Even brands that invest substantially to fully monitor their supply chains obtain only irregular and inaccurate information—especially where local regulatory policies are weak and corruption is rife. Furthermore, companies that do collect value chain information typically keep reports confidential. As a result, interested stakeholders—such as policy makers, journalists, and NGOs—cannot hold actors accountable or incentivize industry-wide collaboration and regulation around meaningful global standards.
Barrier B - A Job is Not Enough: Low-Income Workers Cannot Secure Long-Term Wellbeing The apparel industry creates millions of jobs, but workers are subjected to below-subsistence-level wages, exploitation, and deadly working environments.1 For millions of apparel industry workers already trapped in poverty, building a secure life for themselves and their families is far out of reach. In an effort to cut costs, the apparel industry hops from developing country to developing country, moving production to where wages are lowest and labor protections are weakest. 2 Especially vulnerable to abuse are the many women, migrant, and undocumented workers who have sought a better life through employment in the garment sector. Social safety nets and essential services, such as child care, health care, and access to savings or credit, are often nonexistent for apparel industry workers, despite job conditions that heighten the need for these services. Without the tools or opportunities to contribute to their own long-term wellbeing, lowincome workers have little means to determine the course of their lives. Barrier C - Consumers Are Unaware or Unmotivated: Consumption Habits Are Hard to Shift Without Easy Avenues for Change The majority of clothing consumers lack a fundamental awareness about the supply chains behind their purchases. Due to a lack of easily accessed information (on labels, for example), consumers aren’t equipped to make point-of-purchase decisions that align with increasingly common sustainable values. Even when consumers can access basic information, ethical clothing options are few and too often priced beyond the reach of the average shopper. Consumer movements for sustainable apparel are not yet widespread. Studies suggest that consumers tend to be more motivated by emotions and social influences, such as peer influence, than by data alone, pointing to a potential opportunity for tackling this barrier.
Barrier D - Sustainability is Not Yet in the DNA: The Current System Disincentivizes Value-Driven Business Today’s extremely fragmented and decentralized supply chains disincentivize both brands and factories from investing in more sustainable practices. Business models such as “fast fashion” have further pushed the industry toward systems of rapid-fire production that prioritize low costs over ethical standards. Apparel companies may also worry that the financial and supply risks for investing in sustainable alternatives are too high. Ensuring consistent supply and demand for sustainable materials and processes across the value chain is a key need.
UNLOCKING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE: FOUR DESIGN PRINCIPLES TO TACKLE SYSTEMIC PROBLEMS Design Principle 1 - Unite More Than Voice: Tap Into Community Capital and Collective Resources Social entrepreneurs are creating new ways for low-income populations to tap into their collective wealth of information, skills, and income. By mobilizing local assets, communities can work together to not only demand new solutions, but also share skills and resources so that they themselves can become agents of change. Crowdsourcing information on factory conditions, cost-sharing among garment factory workers for child care services, and uniting consumer purchasing power are just a few examples of solutions that use this Design Principle. Community-powered solutions can require fewer resources and typically help build a shared identity among stakeholders who may not have previously seen themselves as connected, thus creating a strong and efficient foundation for collective action. Design Principle 2 - Activate Local Know-How for Driving Solutions: Build Opportunities for Workers to Become Leaders Social entrepreneurs are creating opportunities for workers to become sustainability leaders—rather than merely resources—within the apparel industry. They are enabling successful worker-led campaigns for corporate accountability, farmer-led monitoring of organic practices, and even producer-led brand management.
SOCIAL INNOVATION MAPPING: 3 Key Components for Understanding How Social Entrepreneurs Solve Complex Challenges
Barriers are core components of a complex problem that, if altered, could unlock true systems change. They are not just descriptions of the problem or even of its underlying causes. Rather, they are specific, moveable, actionable parts of the problem that the social entrepreneur has chosen to tackle.
Design Principles are strategies for designing solutions that unlock system-wide change. Rather than describing a single tool or organizational strategy, Design Principles apply broadly and can inform the practices of a broad spectrum of stakeholders seeking to drive systemic change. Each Design Principle can be deployed in multiple contexts for multiple Barriers.
Solutions by social entrepreneurs form the heart of the Social Innovation Mapping analysis. They have been used to identify the cross-cutting Barriers and Design Principles defined above. The solutions selected for this analysis have been identified by the Ashoka Fellowship process to be pragmatic, effective, and visionary.
Changing the top-down structure of the apparel value chain so that all stakeholders have the ability to shape
the system rightfully gives community members more control over their own lives. Local communities not only know their own conditions best, but also have inherent incentives to maintain safe working environments and environmentally clean processes. Thus, there’s great opportunity in enabling local leaders to create more efficient solutions with long-term impact. Shifting the industry’s power dynamics from top-down to flat can also create pathways for community-wide development: more individuals become empowered to transform their surrounding conditions and homegrown leaders catalyze additional positive change inside their communities. Design Principle 3 - Disrupt Business as Usual: Target Key Players Who Can Influence the Bottom Line Publically shaming brands after abuses are exposed isn’t the only way to catalyze change. Social entrepreneurs are targeting influencers beyond brands like investors, key suppliers, designers, leading retailers, and consumer communities—powerful stakeholders who can affect the bottom line of companies in the apparel industry.
Together, this web of sectors can make holistic change more feasible for all. For example, social entrepreneurs are building relationships between the apparel industry and sectors like transportation, finance, materials science, and plant sciences. Connecting multiple industries beyond the apparel industry eliminates redundancies and enables the sharing of existing infrastructure, knowledge, and skill sets. This Design Principle can circumvent entrenched barriers, activate new opportunities for solutions, and enable non-traditional players to have a critical role in driving sustainability.
LOOKING AHEAD This report’s analysis identifies three key gaps in which additional solutions are needed, as well as where social innovation could unlock newfound potential. The following questions remain: • • •
By leveraging multiple players who can motivate apparel companies to change their behavior, social entrepreneurs are activating an entirely new cohort of changemakers, some of whom might have previously been disengaged. Influencing the influencers is a strategic investment that can position sustainability as a priority in both the short- and long-term. Design Principle 4 - Transform the Chain Into a Web: Link Unlikely Sectors to Open New Pathways to Sustainability Rather than viewing the value chain as a linear structure in which value flows from one set of stakeholders to another, social entrepreneurs are redefining the value chain as a web of interwoven sectors.
How can small suppliers and the “murky middle” be incentivized to become sustainable? How can more industries be linked to activate conscious consumerism? How can solutions better improve women’s lives and their empowerment?
Transforming the nature of the apparel industry will require a collaborative effort among all the players along the value chain. In addition to apparel industry companies, we’ve identified three key stakeholders that, if activated, could be powerful agents for strengthening the ecosystem for change: 1. 2. 3.
Social Entrepreneurs Outside the Industry who can inspire new solutions. Governments that can ensure that sustainability is a long-term priority by institutionalizing standards. Young Consumers who can create an entirely new system in which fashion is a force for good.
Introduction PURPOSE The purpose of this Social Innovation Mapping report is to: • •
Provide a solutions-oriented understanding of the barriers that impede the development of greater sustainability within the apparel industry; Present a set of innovative strategies for achieving transformation across the value chain.
Rooted in the perspectives of Ashoka Fellows, with additional insight from industry experts, these pages are an invitation to re-envision the possibilities for change through the eyes of social entrepreneurs.
HOW TO READ THIS REPORT Social Innovation Mapping is a process by which Ashoka identifies common patterns in the methods used by leading social entrepreneurs to create widespread change. These patterns can point to powerful ways to reframe problems, as well as new strategies to address them. (See “Appendix A” for more background about the methodology of this report.) Patterns have been divided into Barriers and Design Principles:
BARRIERS Barriers are core components of a complex problem that, if altered, could unlock true systems change. They are not just descriptions of the problem or even of its underlying causes. Rather, they are specific, moveable, actionable parts of the problem that the social entrepreneur has chosen to tackle. Solutions may (and often do) tackle multiple barriers.
DESIGN PRINCIPLES Design Principles are strategies for designing solutions that unlock system-wide change. The strategies in this report have been distilled from the work of leading social entrepreneurs. Rather than describing a single tool or organizational strategy, Design Principles apply broadly, address multiple barriers, and can inform the work of a broad spectrum of stakeholders seeking to drive systemic change. It is important to note that Design Principles often focus on forging new opportunities for changemaking or incentivizing action. By engaging new players and stakeholders and shifting mindsets, Design Principles spark transformation and create the conditions to tip entire systems.
LOOKING AHEAD Following the Barriers and Design Principles, we identify three key gaps in which social innovation could unlock newfound potential. We also discuss three stakeholders that, if activated, could be powerful agents for strengthening the ecosystem for change.
Pathways to Wellness Lutheran Community Services Northwest, USA
ROADBLOCKS TO INDUSTRY TRANSFORMATION: FOUR BARRIERS TO TARGET FOR CHANGE
HIDDEN FROM VIEW Conditions in Forests, Farms, and Factories Are Only Visible to a Few
The environmental costs of the apparel industry and the working conditions on farms and in factories are seldom documented for public knowledge. Without robust information about conditions, it is nearly impossible for critical stakeholders—such as governments, auditors, businesses, and consumers—to know whether suppliers and manufacturers are in compliance with environmental and labor standards. Enabling timely access to reliable information—at every point along the apparel value chain—is an essential first step toward unlocking systemic solutions.
Brands have engaged in
thousands of audits, but this valuable information is typically never shared with the public.
The apparel industry’s pervasive lack of transparency has several key components, including: Apparel Supply Chains Are Complex and Difficult to Trace Apparel supply chains are incredibly complex and decentralized, which has made full traceability exceedingly challenging. Today, most international clothing brands outsource manufacturing to large contractors that have their own networks of subcontractors and sub-suppliers, which may further contract work to small factories and informal home workers. Brands often have no direct oversight of these increasingly fragmented tiers of supply chain relationships. Brands must invest significant resources and take proactive action if they want to ensure that entire supply networks are adhering to standards. However, some brands have little contact with any manufacturers and rely instead on middlemen to arrange all aspects of production. Some manufacturers use labor brokers to source workers, which makes rooting out human trafficking and other illegal activities even more difficult. In addition, fashion’s rapid production schedules mean that at any given moment manufacturers might use different subcontractors, including those that hire informal workers through personal networks, making conditions within the value chain incredibly opaque.
Ashoka Fellows Innovating Information is Seldom Verified as Accurate When it comes to inspections and audits, it’s often difficult to verify whether information on conditions is accurate or comprehensive. Regulatory environments in producing countries can be rife with corruption3— bribed inspectors, for example, turn a blind eye toward violations of laws and standards. Responsible auditors can still have a difficult time collecting accurate data, especially if workers are fearful of retaliation for reporting unlawful conditions. Data is Often Private and Inaccessible to the Public Brands have engaged in thousands of audits, but this valuable information is typically never shared with the public. Despite attempts to conduct independent, transparent audits (by bodies like the Fair Labor Association), consumers, policymakers, activists, and workers themselves remain largely unable to access vital information that would allow them to make informed decisions or hold violators of laws and standards accountable. Workers, suppliers, citizen sector organizations, and enforcement agencies would all benefit from knowledge about conditions along the value chain. Empowered with the right information, workers might choose to work for a more equitable producer, and suppliers might negotiate more robust contracts to ensure realistic deadlines and fair compensation. Multilateral institutions, investors, and law enforcement agencies would be better equipped to strengthen environmental and worker protections and apply pressure for change where it is needed. When reliable information is made accessible to all, disparate groups are much more likely to work together to demand change. While clothing companies may be averse to making negative findings from audits available to the public, this lack of information-sharing inhibits collaborative relationships and learning, which are essential for true systemic transformation. Furthermore, brands often use the same suppliers, so cooperating on audits would lead to cost-sharing and reduced redundancy.
Discover how Ashoka’s social entrepreneurs are illuminating what’s happening on the ground in the apparel industry.
Kohl Gill, LaborVoices (p 44)
Lucas Simons, SCOPEinsight (p 48)
Leonardo Sakamoto, Repórter Brasil (p 46)
Rajiv Khandelwal, Aajeevika Bureau (p 51)
Flaviano Bianchini, SourceInternational (p 39)
Ben Cokelet, PODER (p 38)
Laércio Meirelles, Centro Ecológico (p 45)
Kailash Satyarthi, GoodWeave (p 42)
Kendis Paris, Truckers Against Trafficking (p 43)
A JOB IS NOT ENOUGH Low-Income Workers Cannot Secure Long-Term Wellbeing
To make the world’s clothes, millions of men, women, and children work long hours for little compensation and are left disempowered to direct their own lives. Amidst the economic benefits brought to producing countries by the garment sector, workers are subjected to below-subsistence-level wages, exploitation, and deadly working environments.4 Unsafe conditions—including long hours on rapid production lines, hazardous chemicals, low light, and a lack of proper ventilation—severely impact workers’ health.5 Desperate to hold onto employment, workers endure abuses like assault, sexual harassment, denied bathroom breaks, and wage theft.6 Furthermore, human trafficking is still pervasive in global supply chains, with women, undocumented persons, and marginalized groups particularly vulnerable to human rights violations.
The effects of lasting
poverty and abusive work environments permeate families and generations, leaving entire communities marginalized, disempowered to create positive change, and unable to fulfill their potential.
Key components of this Barrier include: Razor-Thin Margins and a Focus on Profits Over People is a Recipe for Abusive Conditions The dominant business model in the garment sector— from fast fashion to luxury brands7—involves reducing the cost of production, typically at the expense of workers.8 Supply chains have become so flexible that it is easy for brands to move manufacturing operations to countries where wages are cheapest and where labor protections are weakest.9 Brands that sell clothing at rock-bottom prices and those that change styles rapidly have business models that generate intense pressure to keep labor costs low and to meet incredibly short production deadlines. In the midst of this pressure, the potential for abusive working conditions rises. Workers Are Denied Access to Essential Services and Protections In many apparel sourcing countries,10 labor laws are poorly enforced.11 Garment workers are frequently denied safety nets like paid sick leave and maternity leave and their right to collectively organize. Lowincome workers and their families also struggle to access education, health care, clean water, safe housing, and child care—basic needs that, if met, would help them escape the cycle of poverty.
Ashoka Fellows Innovating Discover how Ashoka’s social entrepreneurs are ensuring a secure life for apparel industry populations.
Suraiya Haque, Phulki (p 53)
Gautam Bhardwaj, IIMPS (p 40)
Susan Pick, Yo Quiero Yo Puedo (p 54)
Kailash Satyarthi, GoodWeave (p 42)
Communities Aren’t Empowered to Demand Change and Reach Their Full Potential Due to the vast number of individuals impacted by hazardous and exploitative working conditions, communities in which apparel production takes place are mired in poverty. Women comprise 68 percent of the apparel industry’s workforce globally, with numbers reaching as high as 90 percent in some apparel sourcing countries.12 Many women garment workers serve as single parents or primary breadwinners and are forced to leave their children unattended and vulnerable during working hours.13 The effects of lasting poverty and abusive work environments permeate families and generations, leaving entire communities marginalized, disempowered to create positive change, and unable to fulfill their potential.
Asher Hasan, Naya Jeevan (p ) Rajiv Khandelwal, Aajeevika Bureau (p 51)
Jason Potts, FAST (p 41)
Willy Foote, Root Capital (p 55)
Anshu Gupta, Goonj
CONSUMERS ARE UNAWARE OR UNMOTIVATED Consumption Habits Are Hard to Shift Without Easy Avenues for Change
Many consumers want to shop ethically,14 but they lack the motivation and means to do so. Information about the supply chain conditions behind clothing has the the potential to motivate consumers to match their buying habits with their stated values. Unfortunately, this information is largely absent from the shopping experience. It has been argued that supply chains across industries are rife with abhorrent conditions—from electronics,15 to food,16 to clothing—and that consumers have little power to influence what has become the foundation of the modern global economy.17 However, the social entrepreneurs and experts interviewed for this report are demonstrating that consumers can play a more powerful role in driving an industry-wide shift to fair and sustainable production practices. Key considerations for unlocking this potential include: Consumers Are Still Largely Unaware of the Issues In an interview for this report, Dara O’Rourke, author of “Shopping for Good” and co-founder of GoodGuide, pointed out that, unlike with the organic food movement, consumers are still in a “pre-awareness phase” when it comes to sustainable fashion. “Most people don’t have any idea that their clothing is often coated with chemicals that may have a significant impact on human health and the environment,” O’Rourke said. “And it was only through the tragedy of Rana Plaza that many people even looked at their garments and asked ‘Where are they from?’” Social entrepreneurs, however, are engaging more people to consider the impacts of the apparel industry-including the impacts at the end of a garment’s lifecycle and what happens to discarded clothing. They are also leveraging information technology and storytelling to connect consumers with producers. Consumers Don’t Have Easy Access to Information About Where Clothing Comes From When so little information is available even to brands about the conditions along the value chain, consumers are naturally left in the dark. Excluding the relatively few
If consumer movements can
inspire positive emotions and offer simple ways to support large-scale solutions, people will be far less likely to choose willful ignorance and more likely to take action.
brands that have committed to sustainability, it can be next to impossible for consumers to know whether a particular piece of clothing was ethically produced. The need for information at the point of sale has been often emphasized by industry experts,18 because behavior change is most likely when surrounding conditions make change (like making a more sustainable purchasing decision) easy. Consumers Are Strongly Motivated by Social Influences According to O’Rourke, information alone has a limited impact on mainstream consumers. Rather, social norms (how people see themselves and how they aspire to be) and peer influence are much more powerful catalysts of behavior change. “Reports about conditions in supply chains or exposés conducted by NGOs, academics, and governments would be much more effective in concert with thinking about how you invoke social influences and social norms,” O’Rourke said. Buying clothing is by nature a form conspicuous consumption, and social dynamics— which mainstream marketers use to drive sales—could be further leveraged by the sustainable apparel space. According to Helio Mattar of the Akatu Institute, a Brazil-based leader of the conscious consumer movement, consumer-based approaches are most effective when they help people “realize the power they have to transform society and the environment.”19 Recent psychological studies20 suggest that many people avoid information about unethical clothing, because it leads to feelings of guilt, anxiety, and defensiveness. But if consumer movements can inspire positive emotions and offer simple ways to support large-scale solutions, people will be far less likely to choose willful ignorance and more likely to take action.21
Ethical Options Are Few, Especially at Affordable Price Points Sustainability has been prioritized by a handful of highly visible brands, but many ethical options are priced out of reach for the average consumer. Smaller, ethically produced brands exist, but typically appear only in niche spaces online.
Ashoka Fellows Innovating Discover how Ashoka’s social entrepreneurs are changing consumer behavior and growing communities of conscious consumers.
Anshu Gupta, Goonj (p 36)
Leonardo Sakamoto, Repórter Brasil (p 46)
Lis Suarez-Visbal, FEM International (p 47)
SUSTAINABILITY IS NOT YET IN THE DNA The Current System Disincentivizes Value-Driven Business
Today, the apparel industry generates billions of dollars in revenue every year and employs as many as 75 million people around the world—a tremendous increase from the 20 million people employed by the sector in 2000.22 Underlying this growth are practices that have persisted since the Industrial Revolution, including deadly working conditions, slave and child labor, and the wholesale destruction of natural resources. The not-so-hidden costs of fashion are tremendous, yet the old ways of doing business remain. Key Barriers that stand in the way of a new paradigm of value-driven business include: The Financial and Supply Risks for Investing in Sustainable Alternatives Are Perceived as Too High Apparel companies may also worry that the financial and supply risks for investing in sustainable alternatives are too high. For example, fiber and textile suppliers need to be sure that investing in sustainability will yield returns in the form of consistent demand and the ability to command price points that defray the expense of sustainable production. Manufacturers and brands need to have the assurance that if they commit to sustainable materials, that there will be a consistent supply and that production and delivery schedules won’t be interrupted. “There’s a level of aversion to risk and that’s not unusual,” said Nicole Rycroft, founder of Canopy, which over the past year has built a coalition of 30 brands, designers, and suppliers that are committed to sustainable fibers. “It’s a factor that social entrepreneurs need to accommodate. How can we develop new product lines and structure our operations to mitigate the risk that brands face?”
fragmented relationships disincentivize both brands and suppliers to invest in sustainable practices and true transformation.
Ashoka Fellows Innovating Discover how Ashoka’s social entrepreneurs are pivoting apparel’s current business model in a new direction.
Driving a Culture of Sustainability is Difficult in Today’s Fragmented Supply Chains Current apparel supply chains are far more decentralized than they were 25 years ago.23 Longterm, close relationships between brands and manufacturers are largely a thing of the past. Short contracts and middlemen, such as conglomerates that outsource production to hundreds of factories or home-based operations, are far more common. Short-lived and fragmented relationships disincentivize both brands and suppliers from investing in sustainable practices and true transformation.
Nelsa Nespolo, Justa Trama (p 49)
Nicole Rycroft, Canopy (p 50)
Furthermore, many of today’s factories are familiar with how to comply with surface-level audits, which can document the appearance of regulatory compliance while failing to address the deeper issues.24 “Audits alone do not solve the problem,” said Alice Tepper Marlin, president and CEO of Social Accountability International, which advocates for the human rights of workers. “You don’t fatten a pig by weighing it, but at the same time, weighing is still essential to measuring and improving.”
Sanvar Oberoi, BOHECO (p 52)
Anshu Gupta, Goonj (p 36)
Verité, a nonprofit that works with brands like Patagonia and Warby Parker to ensure fair labor practices in supply chains, emphasizes that helping suppliers solve the root cause of problems—rather than focusing on completing more audits—is key to success.25 Working with suppliers, however, to design solutions and implement them successfully requires money and longterm commitment.
Kailash Satyarthi, GoodWeave Lis Suarez-Visbal, FEM International (p 47) (p 42)
Jason Potts, FAST (p 41)
Nithi clicks, Flickr
UNLOCKING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE: FOUR DESIGN PRINCIPLES TO TACKLE SYSTEMIC PROBLEMS
DESIGN PRINCIPLE 1
UNITE MORE THAN VOICE Tap Into Community Capital and Collective Resources
Developing a critical mass of voices to demand change is a powerful component of systemic transformation. Assets, such as money, information, and skills, however, can also be aggregated to tip systems. Social entrepreneurs are creating new ways for low-income populations to tap their collective power—so that they can not only demand change, but also become agents of change themselves. This Design Principle reduces individual costs and enables a new realm of solutions that are more inclusive and effective. Community-powered solutions can help build interconnected, empathetic relationships between stakeholders who may not have previously seen themselves as connected, thus creating a strong foundation for collective action.
SOLUTIONS AT WORK Tackling Barrier A: Hidden From View The collective knowledge of workers has the potential to truly unlock supply chain traceability for the sector. Tapping this potential is Kohl Gill, who developed LaborVoices, a platform that crowdsources information on working conditions directly from laborers via mobile phone surveys. While factory audits reveal conditions a few times a year, LaborVoices generates real-time information that is shared with brands, suppliers, and workers. “This combination of transparency and readily available information is a sustainable way to drive market-wide change,” Gill said. “Armed with the right insights, workers can make confident choices between factories, brands can choose to work with the best suppliers, and best-in-class factories can rise above the competition.”26 Tackling Barrier B: A Job is Not Enough Cost-sharing models can help make more essential services available in garment workers’ communities. For example, Suraiya Haque is pioneering workplace daycare centers in Bangladesh that enable mothers to access safe child care where they work. Suraiya’s organization, Phulki, works with factories to build
We bring them together to
exchange challenges and that creates sympathy. It creates a link. Instead of thinking ‘You are a buyer and I am a seller,’ they start to see it all as collective work. Lis Suarez-Visbal Ashoka Fellow FEM International, Canada
Ashoka Fellows Innovating See some other ways in which Ashoka’s social entrepreneurs are mobilizing the power of community capital and collective resources to transform the apparel industry.
Lucas Simons, SCOPEinsight (p 48)
Kohl Gill, LaborVoices (p 44)
Leonardo Sakamoto, Repórter Brasil (p 46)
Rajiv Khandelwal, Aajeevika Bureau (p 51)
Suraiya Haque, Phulki (p 53)
Gautam Bhardwaj, IIMPS (p 40)
Asher Hasan, Naya Jeevan (p 37)
Lis Suarez-Visbal, FEM International (p 47)
daycare centers on their premises. Factories assume the start-up costs and pay for caregivers’ salaries, while mothers contribute a small sum toward a daycare’s operating costs. The cost-sharing model means that a high quality of service can be maintained at fees that are affordable to low-income workers. Phulki caregivers are trained in early childhood development and nutrition. The organization also offers education for parents on health and nutrition, as well as on sexual, reproductive, and labor rights. Factories have seen benefits, including increased worker productivity, reduced absenteeism, and less time taken for maternity leave. Today, Phulki operates nearly 90 communitybased and 25 factory-based daycares. Tackling Barrier C: Consumers Are Unaware or Unmotivated Connecting consumers to the stories of the people who make the world’s clothing can help foster empathy and spur changes in buying habits. Lis Suarez-Visbal’s organization, FEM International, works with immigrant women in Canada, as well as artisans in Mali, India, Thailand, and Bolivia, to help them become successful eco-fashion entrepreneurs. Part of the organization’s multi-pronged approach involves fostering a new generation of conscious consumers. To do so, FEM International brings the public together with the women entrepreneurs through do-it-yourself ecological workshops, where participants learn how to upcycle clothing, use ecological dyes, and utilize other sustainable techniques. “The objective is to bring the conversation along,” Suarez-Vizbal said. “People are used to the end product, but they are not used to the process or the stories behind the clothes that are made. We bring [consumers and producers] together to exchange challenges and that creates sympathy. It creates a link. Instead of thinking ‘You are a buyer and I am a seller,’ they start to see it all as collective work.”
DESIGN PRINCIPLE 2
ACTIVATE LOCAL KNOW-HOW FOR DRIVING SOLUTIONS Build Opportunities for Workers to Become Leaders
Changing the top-down structure of the apparel value chain, so that all stakeholders have the ability to shape the system, rightfully gives communities more control over their own lives. Local communities not only know their own conditions best, but also have inherent incentives to maintain safe working environments and environmentally clean processes. Thus, building opportunities for local populations to become leaders can create more efficient solutions with long-term impact. Shifting the industry’s power dynamics from top-down to flat can also create pathways for community-wide development: more individuals become empowered to transform their surrounding conditions and more homegrown leaders catalyze additional positive change inside their communities.
As people start becoming
agents of change, they see themselves with more rights, more possibilities. This is not transactional—giving people money, gifts, clothes; it’s intrinsic empowerment. Susan Pick Ashoka Fellow Yo Quiero Yo Puedo, Mexico
SOLUTIONS AT WORK Tackling Barrier A: Hidden From View Community-managed monitoring can be less resource intensive than relying on third-party certifiers from Europe or the United States. At Centro Ecológico, Laércio Meirelles is relieving smallholders of the burdensome complexities that govern certification in different countries. Centro Ecológico offers farmers, including those that farm organic cotton, a marketaccepted, government-approved peer-to-peer system of organic certification. Supported with regular trainings on organic standards, smallholder farmers in the rural areas of Brazil, Paraguay, and other Latin American countries monitor each other throughout the year, collectively deciding whether or not their fellow farmers have met a common set of standards. This model is called a Participatory Guarantee System and is an example of empowering locals to enforce healthy environments in their own communities. It is currently being used in Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Peru, as well as in South Africa, Uganda, and Mozambique.
Susan Pick, Yo Quiero Yo Puedo
Tackling Barrier B: A Job is Not Enough Susan Pick is training workers to recognize themselves as change agents empowered to direct the course of their own lives. Her organization, Yo Quiero Yo Puedo, engages workers in programs that develop emotional and cognitive skills and provide education on health, labor rights, and reproductive rights. By enabling workers with skills like assertiveness, clear communication, self-awareness, and decision making, Yo Quiero Yo Puedo is equipping people with the tools to take charge of their own wellbeing and to become leaders and changemakers in their communities. “As people start becoming agents of change, they see themselves with more rights, more possibilities,” Pick said. “This is not transactional—giving people money, gifts, clothes—it’s intrinsic empowerment.” Program participants have gone on to establish support groups, women have started community banks, and adolescents have created programs for their peers to prevent dating violence. “Once you really understand that you have a responsibility and are an agent of change, it becomes part of you,” Pick said. “You start replicating—formally or informally—with your kids, your partners and your neighbors.” Tackling Barrier D: Sustainability is Not Yet in the DNA Putting workers in charge of entire links in the production chain empowers them with dignity, the opportunity to become leaders, and the ability to capture added value from the products they produce. Nelsa Nespolo’s organization, Justa Trama in Brazil, organizes worker-owned and -managed coops that cover every step in the value chain—from cotton to finished clothing. This “fair chain” is connected by an umbrella management group, which is composed of an executive board made up of members from the coops, and a general council of representatives from all coops who democratically make decisions about everything from wages to business strategy. By enabling workers to become leaders and share in the profits of their coops, Justa Trama is tackling Brazil’s entrenched problem of poverty and enabling thousands of workers in the apparel industry to equitably participate in the economy.
Ashoka Fellows Innovating See some other ways in which Ashoka’s social entrepreneurs are putting communities in charge.
Laércio Meirelles, Centro Ecológico (p 45)
Susan Pick, Yo Quiero Yo Puedo (p 54)
Nelsa Nespolo, Justa Trama (p 49)
Ben Cokelet, PODER (p 38)
Flaviano Bianchini, SourceInternational (p 39)
Kailash Satyarthi, GoodWeave (p 42)
DESIGN PRINCIPLE 3
DISRUPT BUSINESS AS USUAL Target Key Players Who Can Influence the Bottom Line
Publically shaming brands after abuses are exposed isn’t the only way to catalyze change—brands are one of many players in the apparel value chain. Social entrepreneurs are targeting influencers like investors, key suppliers, designers, leading retailers, and consumer communities—powerful stakeholders who can affect the bottom line of companies. By leveraging multiple players who can motivate apparel companies to change their behavior, social entrepreneurs are activating an entirely new cohort of changemakers who might have previously been disengaged. Influencing the influencers is a strategic investment that can ensure that sustainability will be a priority in the long-term.
SOLUTIONS AT WORK Tackling Barrier A: Hidden From View Financial investors are powerful players that, if moved, could seriously affect the bottom line of companies with unethical practices. PODER, an organization that empowers communities to hold companies accountable for their actions, takes information about dirty supply chains to prominent investors in order to make the business case for improvements. “Investors stand to lose a lot if the brand price falls,” Ben Cokelet, PODER’s founder, said. “We get them to join us in encouraging brands to come to the table.” Tackling Barrier C: Consumers Are Unaware or Unmotivated Leonardo Sakamoto’s organization, Repórter Brasil, uses investigative journalism to uncover and publicize the use of slave labor in Brazil. Recently, the organization has launched a free mobile phone app that enables consumers to look up brands on the go. The brands self-report what steps they have taken to eliminate slave labor from their supply chains and consumers can talk back, sending brands feedback about what improvements they’d like to see. Sakamoto sees this app as part of building a generation of consumers who demand corporate accountability: “We are trying to take the information that we typically use with leaders and put it in the hands of ordinary people.”
As a single organization, we
knew we couldn’t change the behavior of 400 million consumers. But we could shift the behavioral practices of 500 individuals—CEOs or senior executives of companies that bought a lot of forest fiber—and thus drive change upstream. Nicole Rycroft Ashoka Fellow Canopy, Canada
Ashoka Fellows Innovating See some other ways in which Ashoka’s social entrepreneurs are enabling players upstream in the value chain to make fashion a force for good.
Leonardo Sakamoto, Reportér Brasil (p 46)
Nicole Rycroft, Canopy (p 50)
Sanvar Oberoi, BOHECO (p 52)
Anshu Gupta, Goonj (p 36)
Lis Suarez-Visbal, FEM International (p 47)
Tackling Barrier D: Sustainability is Not Yet in the DNA Nicole Rycroft’s organization, Canopy, engages brands to commit to forest-friendly supply chains by strategically targeting influencers who can institutionalize sustainable changes. Canopy is gaining formal commitments from prominent designers to source fibers (such as viscose) outside of endangered rainforests. By enlisting big names like Levi’s and Stella McCartney, as well as buyers with massive purchasing power like Marks & Spencer and H&M, Canopy has been able to shift the sourcing practices of the top three viscose producers who control 50 percent of the world’s production. “As a single organization, we knew we couldn’t change the behavior of 400 million consumers,” Rycroft said. “But we could shift the behavioral practices of 500 individuals—CEOs or senior executives of companies that bought a lot of forest fiber—and thus drive change upstream.”
Ben Cokelet, PODER (p 38)
Kailash Satyarthi, GoodWeave Jason Potts, FAST (p 41) (p 42)
ITU pictures, Flicker
DESIGN PRINCIPLE 4
TRANSFORM THE CHAIN INTO A WEB Link Unlikely Sectors to Open New Pathways to Sustainability
Rather than viewing the value chain as a linear structure, in which value flows from one set of stakeholders to another, social entrepreneurs are redefining the value chain as a web of interwoven sectors. Together, this web of players can make holistic change more feasible for all. For example, social entrepreneurs are building relationships between the apparel industry and sectors like transportation, finance, materials science, and plant sciences. Connecting multiple industries beyond the apparel industry eliminates redundancies and enables the sharing of existing infrastructure, knowledge, and skill sets. This Design Principle can circumvent entrenched barriers, activate new opportunities for solutions, and enable non-traditional players to have a critical role in driving sustainability within the apparel industry and across systems.
SOLUTIONS AT WORK Tackling Barrier A: Hidden From View Kendis Paris’ organization, Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), is working with the entire trucking industry to identify modern slavery and report cases to law enforcement. TAT trains everyone in the trucking industry—including trucking students, trucking associations, and shipping partners—to recognize the signs of forced labor (often present in the garment industry) and to notify local authorities through an easily accessed hotline. TAT links the transportation and shipping industries with current human trafficking monitoring efforts, thus activating an entire network of people who can help prevent human rights abuses in supply chains. TAT’s model has the potential to be replicated to target the pervasive problem of trafficked labor in the apparel industry.
industries beyond the apparel industry eliminates redundancies and enables the sharing of existing infrastructure, knowledge, and skill sets.
Tackling Barrier B: A Job is Not Enough Without access to loans to grow their businesses, many of the world’s agricultural producers are trapped in poverty. Jason Potts’s organization, Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade (FAST), connects small- and medium-sized sustainable agriculture businesses (SMEs) with investors who want to fund planet-friendly enterprises. FAST creates investment portfolios of sustainable agricultural businesses that reduce transaction costs and make growth funding more accessible. SMEs receive training in financial literacy and how to develop healthy business models. As a result, lenders, traders, and financial certification agencies experience reduced risk and are more likely to provide financial services to small producers. FAST’s online marketplace of vetted SMEs, as well as other matchmaking activities, help develop a common language of criteria between sustainable agricultural businesses and investors, while unlocking critical funding for the sector. FAST’s model has the potential to support smallholder farms that produce sustainable cotton and other fibers and drive the establishment of eco-friendly standards for the apparel industry. Tackling Barrier D: Sustainability is Not Yet in the DNA Sustainable alternatives for textiles, dyes, and other production processes are a relatively new frontier in the apparel industry. Sanvar Oberoi, founder of Bombay Hemp Company (BOHECO), wants to unlock hemp as a sustainable alternative to monocropped cotton, but the lack of a seed bank in India for industrial hemp is a key barrier. Oberoi works with research institutes to develop seed varieties that are adapted to growing in India and that can support large-scale hemp production. By ensuring that hemp supplies can meet future demand, Oberoi is laying the groundwork for sustainable hemp to be adopted by mainstream apparel producers.
Ashoka Fellows Innovating See some other ways in which Ashoka’s social entrepreneurs are building hybrid value systems.
Kendis Paris, Truckers Against Trafficking (p 43)
Willy Foote, Root Capital (p 55)
Kailash Satyarthi, GoodWeave (p 42)
Jason Potts, FAST (p 41)
Suraiya Haque, Phulki (p 53)
Sanvar Oberoi, BOHECO (p 52)
Nicole Rycroft, Canopy (p 50)
Nelsa Nespolo, Justa Trama (p 49)
Rajiv Khandelwal, Aajeevika Bureau (p 51)
Asher Hasan, Naya Jeevan (p 37)
Looking Ahead The following matrix (Figure 2) illustrates how social entrepreneurs are working in concert and applying the Design Principles discussed in this report. For the purposes of this illustration, social entrepreneurs have been categorized according to the predominant Design Principle that they are applying and the predominant Barrier that they are targeting. By no means does this suggest that innovators are limited to those Design Principles and Barriers; in fact, most solutions by leading social entrepreneurs apply several strategies to address multiple challenges. (See “Meet the Social Entrepreneurs” on page 35 to learn more about each solution.) This matrix also suggests gaps in which additional solutions are needed and where social innovation could unlock newfound potential. The following questions remain: How can small suppliers and the “murky middle” be incentivized to become sustainable? Innovations are needed to more effectively pressure manufacturing conglomerates, brokers, and subcontractors. How can industry stakeholders
leverage their position to incentivize unrecognized suppliers, lesser known retailers, and faceless subcontractors to dramatically improve their social and ecological footprints? How can more industries be linked to activate conscious consumerism? Rather than reinventing the wheel, how can the apparel industry tap into existing consumer movements to support sustainable fashion? How can solutions better improve women’s lives and their empowerment? Of the 20 models shared here, only two have an explicit focus on women, despite women comprising 68 percent of the apparel industry workforce globally, including 90 percent in some countries.27 How can current models embrace an intersectional perspective that acknowledges both socioeconomic, racial, and gender identities and responds to power dynamics that disempower and limit the social and economic potential of women throughout the supply chain?
0 social innovators
SOCIAL INNOVATION MATRIX: Mapping of Social Entrepreneurs’ Solutions, Barriers Targeted, and Design Principles Applied
Unite More Than Voice: Tap Into Community Capital and Collective Resources
< 5 social innovators
* Social entrepreneurs who are examples for more than one design principle or barrier.
Barriers A. Hidden From View:
Conditions in Forests, Farms, and Factories Are Only Visible to a Few
Enable Workers to be Their Own Advocates: • Kohl Gill • Rajiv Khandelwal*
B. A Job is Not
Use Cost-Sharing to Provide Social Protection Services • Suraiya Haque* • Gautam Bhardwaj • Asher Hasan*
Educate Consumers in How to Cast Their Economic Vote • Lis Suarez-Visbal* • Leonardo Sakamoto*
Enough: Low-Income Workers Cannot Secure Long-Term Wellbeing
Consumers Are Unaware or Unmotivated: Consumption Habits Are Hard to Shift Without Easy Avenues for Change
D. Sustainability is Not
Yet in the DNA: The Current System Disincentivizes ValueDriven Business
Create a Common Language to Compare Behavior Across Suppliers • Kohl Gill • Lucas Simons
Activate Local Know-How for Driving Solutions: Build Opportunities for Workers to Become Leaders
Disrupt Business as Usual: Target Key Players Who Can Influence the Bottom Line
4. Transform the Chain Into a Web: Link Unlikely Sectors to Open New Pathways to Sustainability
Create Channels for Community-Managed Monitoring • Laércio Meirelles • Flaviano Bianchinni • Kailash Satyarthi* • Ben Cokelet* Inform Those Who Hold the Purse Strings of the Companies • Leonardo Sakamoto* • Ben Cokelet*
Enable Workers’ Inherent Capacity to Lead • Susan Pick
Who can effectively apply pressure on small suppliers and the “murky middle”?
Design Ways for Mobile Indus- Connect Due Diligence Efforts to Reduce the Risk of Providing tries to Monitor the Chain Finance to Small Producers • Kendis Paris • Willy Foote • Jason Potts* Focus on Community Needs to Support Holistic Local Development • Kailash Satyarthi* • Rajiv Khandelwal* • Suraiya Haque* • Asher Hasan*
Create Easy and Direct Communication Channels with Consumers • Leonardo Sakmoto* • Anshu Gupta*
Create Worker-Managed Collectives • Nelsa Nespolo*
Develop Future Demand by Engaging the Design Community • Nicole Rycroft* • Lis Suarez-Visbal* • Sanvar Oberoi* Reduce Risk by Matchmaking Supply and Demand • Sanvar Oberoi* • Nicole Rycroft* • Anshu Gupta* • Kailash Satyarthi* • Jason Potts*
What other industries can be linked to activate conscious consumerism?
Involve R&D to Create Sustainable Alternatives for Necessary Natural Inputs • Sanvar Oberoi* • Nicole Rycroft* • Nelsa Nespolo*
Jewell Catalina, Flicker
BUILDING THE ECOSYSTEM FOR CHANGE Transforming the nature of the apparel industry will require a collaborative effort among all the players in the value chain. It will involve the expertise of businesses, workers, and other conventional stakeholders in the supply chain, as well as fresh perspectives from non-traditional players in the broader “value web.” In addition to apparel industry companies, we’ve identified three key stakeholders that, if activated, could be powerful agents for strengthening the ecosystem for change: 1.
Social Entrepreneurs Outside the Industry With the goal of systemic transformation, social entrepreneurship has the potential to create proactive— rather than reactive—solutions to the apparel sector’s pressing problems. What can we learn from other global supply chains, such as food and electronics, and other movements like environmental advocacy and labor rights organizing? To apply new models from other sectors to the apparel industry, social entrepreneurs must be aware of how the fashion industry operates and its specific supply chain challenges.
2. Governments Brands can’t shoulder the entire responsibility of ensuring that all corners of supply chain networks are sustainable. Governments must play a stronger role, as they are essential for institutionalizing ethical standards. How can problem solvers like social entrepreneurs work even more closely with governments to scale up their solutions and ensure that their models are adopted for the long-term? 3.
Young Consumers It’s essential to enable a new generation of leaders who not only vote with their wallets for sustainable fashion, but also create an entirely new system in which fashion is a force for good. How can we invest in building the skills and attitudes necessary to trigger integrated, empathic, and conscious changemaking amongst young people?
DFID - UK Department for International Development, Flicker
MEET THE SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS: 20 MODELS FOR TRANSFORMING THE APPAREL INDUSTRY
Enable Conscious Giving, Not Thoughtless Dumping WHAT IF repurposed clothing were the new currency? GOONJ INDIA 1999
SOLUTION EXAMPLE: Following the 1991 Uttarkashi earthquake, Anshu Gupta witnessed the many challenges impoverished rural communities face. In India, a country where more than 20 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, he was struck by the disconnect between people’s needs and actual donations. While blankets were needed during winter, Gupta saw villagers reject bundles of clothing thrown at them from trucks. Donations were not only disaster-driven, but thoughtless and undignified—local people were seen as charity cases for random gifts, but quickly forgotten. In response, Gupta created Goonj, India’s first infrastructure to transfer material excess to the poor in a step toward a recycling economy. The process begins with an assessment whereby local organizations evaluate particular communities’ needs. Goonj then requests targeted donations through collection drives and dropping centers, where individuals, organizations, and manufacturing companies can contribute needed materials and track their contributions. Materials then go to processing centers where Goonj volunteers ensure donated materials are in good condition, sort them, then direct them to appropriate communities. The materials are given to community leaders and organizations as a form of currency. This “Cloth for Work” concept has transformed communities by making families eligible to receive materials by participating in community-chosen development activities. By reshaping the supply and demand of cloth donations in India, Gupta has cultivated conscientious giving, changed mentalities, and empowered communities.
Goonj donations support people living in poverty in rural areas in 21 Indian states with more than 250 partner organizations. They process more than 1,000 tons of material annually, including 10,000 kilograms every month. More than 300,000 kilograms of throwaway waste cloth have been converted into traditional quilts as part of large-scale income generation activities.
In exchange for Goonj materials, more than 1,500 development activities have been completed under the “Cloth for Work” program over the last three years. These activities include repairing roads, recharging water ponds, building bamboo bridges, and digging wells.
Goonj has begun working in disaster relief areas, using its infrastructure to channel donations to communities affected by the 2001 Gujarat earthquakes, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and floods in Bihar, Andhra, and Uttarakhand. Most recently, Goonj established its first international effort to support communities affected by the 2015 Nepal earthquake.
Anshu Gupta goonj.org CONTACT TO PARTNER ON: ++ Material donations ++ Partner communities ++ Alternative currency
Barrier C: Consumers Are Unaware or Unmotivated Barrier D: Sustainability is Not Yet in the DNA Design Principle 3: Disrupt Business as Usual
For cloth, either it is
for sale or it is donated when a disaster comes. If we’re talking about the value chain, it has to be nondisaster giving.
The biggest asset
of village people is their self-respect or dignity. People will repair the road, dig a pond, clean a school, do a plantation drive, and make a bamboo bridge. Anything and everything can be done with local resources.
Workers and Employers Pay for Their Health Care WHAT IF all informal workers had access to low-risk, high quality, affordable health care? NAYA JEEVAN PAKISTAN 2007
SOLUTION EXAMPLE: Medical catastrophes often precipitate generational poverty among millions of vulnerable people in the developing world. If a family’s breadwinner falls ill, the resulting medical costs can cripple that family for generations. Moreover, direct access to quality health care is often too expensive for low-income people. In Pakistan, at least one-third of the country’s 170 million people, including informal domestic workers, earn less than $3 per day and have little or no access to quality health care. But Naya Jeevan is providing quality, private health insurance to lowincome workers—including factory suppliers— through an approach that distributes cost and social responsibility among stakeholders affiliated with low-income beneficiaries, such as wealthy employers of domestic staff, the company that is the parent employer, and the domestic worker who is the plan beneficiary. The organization works with corporate sales and marketing teams, convincing employers to contribute to workers’ health insurance. Naya Jeevan is thus breaking silos between low-income workers and their employers to provide more holistic solutions for informal workers.
Asher Hasan njfk.org CONTACT TO PARTNER ON: ++ Retail health e-card ++ Safe public transport for women factory workers ++ Online, remote health care
Barrier B: A Job is Not Enough Design Principle 1: United More Than Voice Design Principle 4: Transform the Chain Into a Web
When the father got IMPACT: ++
Naya Jeevan has enabled health care for more than 65,0000 beneficiaries connected to 103 corporate sponsors as of 2015.
Currently, the Naya Jeevan client pool spans both the private and public sector: 72 percent are in the citizen sector (low-income staff, families, and students); 10 percent are small- and medium-enterprise clients; 13 percent are multinational corporations (MNC) and domestic corporations; and 5 percent are academic. In the future, they hope to expand this to include further coverage for textile workers.
sick, the six kids were all pulled out of school and put into different child labor situations. All because their family did not have access to health care.
By taking insurance
membership of executives and adding workers and their dependents, we’re allowing these corporations to negotiate better rates for the executives through risk pooling. 37
Workers Lead Campaigns for Corporate Accountability WHAT IF corporations were as accountable to their workers as their shareholders? PODER MEXICO, LATIN AMERICA 2008
SOLUTION EXAMPLE: As a union organizer for more than 12 years, Ben Cokelet experienced the garment industry’s ruthless side in Mexico. He watched as apparel workers for various international companies fought unsuccessfully to create independent unions, while continuing to work in slave-like conditions without any formal rights. To address this problem, Cokelet’s organization, PODER, develops and teaches unique organizing strategies that empower local civil society groups and communities to lead corporate accountability campaigns. PODER starts every campaign by using public data and human sources to conduct corporate research. The organization’s human resources include both in-person conversations and verified information from its “Who’s Who Wiki” and “Méxicoleaks” databases, which provide safe and anonymous forums for whistleblowers. Once equipped with information, PODER employs a train-the-trainer model with local citizen sector organizations, embedding PODER employees within local organizations to maximize learning and adaption of the research tools and organizing strategies. PODER also trains the citizen sector organizations to facilitate community- and worker-led campaigns for corporate accountability. Although each campaign is unique, PODER shares innovative organizing strategies with its partners, such as working with investors to put pressure on brands and convincing them that dirty supply chains will negatively affect their company’s bottom line. In doing so, PODER empowers workers and their communities to build a citizen-led movement for corporate transparency and accountability.
Ben Cokelet is an Echoing Green Fellow and has received a Catherine B. Reynolds Fellowship in Social Entrepreneurship.
In 2009, PODER was awarded the Satter Grand Prize by the Stern School of Business at New York University.
Through his work with the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center, Cokelet worked on the Kukdong, Matamoros Garment, and Tarrant Apparel Group campaigns.
Ben Cokelet projectpoder.org CONTACT TO PARTNER ON: ++ Who’s Who Wiki platform ++ Mexicoleaks.mx ++ Volunteer or employment opportunities
Barrier A: Hidden From View Design Principle 2: Activate Local Know-How for Driving Solutions Design Principle 3: Disrupt Business as Usual
We provide better
information and toolboxes to workers, so that when they wage their rights campaigns, they can do so in a much more successful way.
Our allies were the
investors. Equity and debt investors who invested in garment brands stood to lose a lot if the brand price fell, so they joined with us in getting the brands to come to the table.
Putting Scientific Information in the Community’s Hands WHAT IF every local community lived in safe, natural environments because they had the power to ensure their own protection? SOURCE INTERNATIONAL SOLUTION EXAMPLE: While studying environmental human rights, Flaviano Bianchini heard a Guatemalan woman describe how a mine’s environmental damage was affecting her community. Environmental harm and severe illness caused by heavy resource extraction or garment manufacturing is far from uncommon in Latin America. Residents are powerless against corporations, lacking the both technical skills to measure negative effects and the tools to defend themselves. While Source International’s model originally addressed extractive industries, they are working to replicate this in the apparel industry, specifically around fiber. Source helps local citizens become community advocates while applying scientific methods to protect human rights. They research the environmental and health impacts of industry projects and teach communities how to use monitoring systems. First, Source spends several months learning from the community that invited them. Then a community member works with Source to learn monitoring skills for the specific environment and needs. Once they can prove ecological or health violations, partner organizations (like PODER) assist communities with organizational and legal aid. Source thus empowers local communities to measure and scientifically validate ecological and health concerns while seeking positive change.
MEXICO, LATIN AMERICA 2012 Flaviano Bianchini source-international.org CONTACT TO PARTNER ON: ++ Replicating in the apparel industry ++ Community-based assessment and ranking of industries for ease of divestment
Barrier B: A Job is Not Enough Design Principle 2: Activate Local Know-How for Driving Solutions
There is no enforcement. IMPACT: ++
Source has worked with communities in 11 countries on five continents. Source connects communities with prominent advocacy organizations, such as PODER founded by Ashoka Fellow Ben Cokelet) and the World Wildlife Fund.
By providing scientific proof of environmental degradation and adverse health effects, communities have seen economic and environmental improvements. For example, in Peru, Source published a study about the pollution caused by an oil company in the Amazon forest that prompted the regional government and the company in question to work with the community to clean the area; related illnesses have subsequently decreased by 50 percent.
Careful to select precedent-setting cases, Source’s legal record is tremendous. Based on Source’s studies, the Honduran Supreme Court ruled that the country’s mining law was unconstitutional because it adversely affected public health. Parliament subsequently passed a new law that better regulated these practices.
We’re trying to create several cases all over the world to enforce the standards that are already in place—and in doing so obtain a longterm change in mentality.
We give communities
the same instruments— the same access to science and technology—that companies and governments have but that the community never had. 39
Financial Security is a Sustainable Reality for India’s Poor WHAT IF elderly low-income workers could retire with financial security? INVEST INDIA MICRO-PENSIONS SERVICES SOLUTION EXAMPLE: When the Indian government first approached Gautam Bhardwaj, they sought shortterm answers to this question: How can we increase resources for the rising number of destitute elderly? But Bhardwaj wanted to know why many elderly are destitute in the first place and why that number is increasing. He discovered that 90 percent of India’s population—including many workers in the apparel industry—do not have a formal pension program. As a result, workers have few resources to support themselves after retirement. Bhardwaj has designed a new “micro-pension” system that enables low-income workers in the informal sector to achieve financial security and dignity. IIMPS collaborates with banks, pension funds, insurers, payment service providers, and government departments to create a secure, convenient, and affordable ecosystem that individual low-income workers can use for accumulating micro-savings for their old age, using mainstream, regulated financial instruments. Local community-based organizations introduce, educate, and enroll workers in the micro-pension program using standard retirement literacy tools. Once enrolled, individual clients use their own bank accounts or bank-issued prepaid cards to channel periodic micro-savings in line with their own cash-flows to regulated financial institutions. Co-contributions (conditional transfers) from the government seamlessly flow to each individual’s own micro-pension account. A nationwide multilingual helpline provides ongoing support, including on-tap information about account balances, periodic reminders, assistance with claims and withdrawals, and also serves as a convenient and effective port for resolving complaints. A cost-effective ecosystem integration and administration IT platform issues and manages individual accounts and records each client’s static and transactional data.
IIMPS works in 100 districts across 14 Indian states and has so far enabled approximately one million working poor people to save for their old age.
A new non-profit, microPension Foundation, is starting to work in different countries, including Indonesia, Rwanda, and Bangladesh, to replicate the IIMPS micro-pension solution. The microPension Foundation has recently focused on technological replication with its recent launch of a Web-based, micro-social security (P2P) platform that allows middle- and upper-middle-income individuals to enroll others (e.g. domestic help) and a forthcoming IT platform that will enable governments, CBOs, NGOs, MFIs, cooperatives, and employers to enroll their constituents with minimal transaction costs.
INDIA 2006 Gautam Bhardwaj micropensions.com CONTACT TO PARTNER ON: ++ Launching micro-pension in your business or country ++ Replicating gift-a-pension
Barrier B: A Job is Not Enough Design Principle 1: Unite More Than Voice
The elderly population
will grow to over two billion by 2050. But roughly nine in every 10 current young workers in most low- to middleincome countries are excluded from formal pension and social security arrangements. Poverty among the elderly will soon emerge as the dominant cause of increased global poverty.
We see ourselves as
the glue. We bring the ecosystem together.
Match Progressive Lenders With Producers Who Farm Sustainably WHAT IF all financial institutions only invested in sustainable business? FINANCE ALLIANCE FOR SUSTAINABLE TRADE SOLUTION EXAMPLE: Historically, there has been a recognizable trend of financial instability in the commodities market. This chronic instability has made it difficult for producers to access financing. As a result, agricultural producers in emerging economies have few opportunities for strategic business development or investments for sustainable livelihoods. Without a source of credit, sufficient collateral to obtain initial loans, or banking savvy, many rural workers are caught in a persistent cycle of poverty. Jason Potts is making financial tools accessible to small- and medium-sized enterprises working in the sustainable agriculture industry. He uses a novel multi-pronged approach that engages lenders, small producers, financial certification agencies, and traders to bring financing to those who would otherwise be unable to access it. FAST primarily works with financial institutions looking for new clientele. To accelerate the due diligence process, FAST contracts with traders and certification agencies to recommend producers for financing. Once the producers have been selected, FAST offers them both online and offline ways for them to connect with financial institutions. FAST operates an online platform with relevant application information and organizes in-person Financial Fairs that include matchmaking events and financial literacy trainings. In this way, FAST is increasing both supply and demand for sustainable agriculture, creating a new market for investing, and enabling a more vibrant sector.
CANADA, GLOBAL REACH 2007 Jason Potts fastinternational.org CONTACT TO LEARN HOW TO PARTNER Barrier B: A Job is Not Enough Barrier D: Sustainability is Not Yet in DNA Design Principle 4: Transform the Chain Into a Web
One of the most
important issues was the absence of finance. It was a barrier to any kind of sustainable livelihood in many commodity markets.
FASTâ€™s members include 16 global and local financial institutions and hundreds of SMEs in developing countries, mainly in Latin America and Africa.
The organization provides a trilingual marketplace where SMEs can connect with mainstream financial institutions, such as the International Development Bank, Triodos, Citigroup, as well as Ashoka Fellow Willy Footeâ€™s organization, Root Capital.
In 2011, 623 SMEs received investments benefiting an estimated 1.8 million small farmers through a group of 19 leading social lenders.
There was the potential
for finance to go further into sustainable production than conventional financial supply chains or supply streams by connecting the dots between trading relationships, production practices, and the lenders themselves.
Create Markets for Child LaborFree Products WHAT IF every child could receive a quality education, even if their parents were unregulated workers? GOODWEAVE*
SOLUTION EXAMPLE: Determined to dedicate his life to social change, Kailash Satyarthi quit his lucrative electrical engineering job and started GoodWeave to tackle child labor in the rug industry. He saw child labor not only as an issue of child welfare, but also as a human rights violation which perpetuated poverty, unemployment, and illiteracy, among other social ills. The web of subcontracting relationships in the industries employing child laborers made the challenge even greater—how does one eradicate a problem that often goes unseen? GoodWeave’s model has three pillars: 1) market change; 2) inspection, monitoring, and remediation for victims; and 3) community-level prevention programs. As such, GoodWeave implements interventions along the entire supply chain—from retail brands to worker communities in South Asia—working closely with all players to ensure child labor is eradicated, industry by industry. GoodWeave begins by enrolling market influencers—namely import and retail brands— in its certification program, thus driving GoodWeave’s programs and impact down the chain. Once a company signs up, they require all of their suppliers to also license with GoodWeave’s local country offices and allow random, unannounced inspections at all levels of the supply chain—from factory to sub-contractor to home—to ensure compliance. When inspectors identify a child worker, they initiate a series of steps to ensure proper care, rehabilitation, and long-term education support. Most often, the children are reunited with their families under a community-based rehabilitation program, but GoodWeave also operates transit homes for those without a safe family environment. Recovered children are offered a fully-sponsored education and are matched with a program that meets their needs. The organization also supports child labor prevention programs like daycare, school sponsorships for children with families employed in carpet manufacturing, adult literacy programs, and health clinics.
Since 1994, GoodWeave has reached over 360 million consumers by certifying more than 11 million carpets and thus generating more than $1.2 million in revenue for weaving communities. Conducting over 223,000 inspections has enabled the organization to rescue more than 3,400 children and educate more than 11,400 others.
In 2014 alone, GoodWeave inspection teams in Asia reached 39,051 workers through monitoring visits and certified more than 144,000 rugs as child labor-free. GoodWeave works with 137 companies representing over five percent of global market share.
Kailash Satyarthi has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, together with youth women’s education advocate Malala Yousafzai.
*Formerly known as Rugmark **Interview conducted with Nina Smith, Executive Director, GoodWeave, and Vilas Pathikonda, Director of Research and Strategy, GoodWeave. 42
AFGHANISTAN, INDIA, NEPAL,GERMANY, UK, US 1994 Kailash Satyarthi** goodweave.org CONTACT TO PARTNER ON: ++ Scaling strategy to eliminate child labor in carpet manufacturing by 2020 ++ Replicating in new sectors ++ Creating environmental and ++ social standards Barrier A: Hidden From View Barrier B: A Job is Not Enough Barrier D: Sustainability is Not Yet in DNA Design Principle 2: Activate Local Know-How for Driving Solutions Design Principle 4: Transform the Chain Into a Web
Even if you get visibility in the supply chain at one point in time, you’d have to continually remap the supply chain in order to feel confidence in the relationships.
We are a market solution.
It’s extremely important to have good private sector partners with influence. The model works better and faster when the market is there. Nina Smith Executive Director, GoodWeave
Mobilize the Trucking Industry to Fight Human Trafficking WHAT IF transportation industries monitored every global supply chain? TRUCKERS AGAINST TRAFFICKING SOLUTION EXAMPLE: Kendis Paris had never thought twice about the trucking industry until she heard the FBI identify truck stops and rest stops as some of the primary places where women and children are forced into prostitution. Human trafficking—a $32 billion-a-year business28 —affects the lives of hundreds of thousands of people across the United States. Truckers themselves are often unaware that many of the sex workers they encounter have been forced into prostitution. Stereotyped as perpetrators and lacking faith in law enforcement responses, truckers are often dissuaded from doing anything when they see something amiss. Recognizing its unique position and power, Paris has mobilized the trucking industry to become a leader of the modern-day abolitionist movement. TAT works with trucking associations, institutions, companies, radio stations, and schools to educate truckers about how they can prevent human trafficking, using DVDs, talks, and most recently a mobile exhibit. TAT then distributes a wallet card with the number for the National Human Trafficking Hotline and asks truckers to call it whenever they suspect trafficking. TAT also organizes efforts to build coalitions to develop localized responses to trafficking activities, so that when a trucker calls the hotline, all levels of law enforcement are aligned in their response. Recently, TAT has begun working with the shipping industry to put pressure on its trucking partners to become TAT certified. Despite the transportation industry’s initial resistance to associate with trafficking, TAT has drawn it in as a staunch ally and thus demonstrated the power of transportation industries to catch traffickers in action.
Since its inception in 2009, TAT has registered almost 165,000 drivers as TAT-trained on its website. More than 1,000 truckers have made calls to the hotline. Law enforcement have investigated 60 percent of the more than 360 potential cases of trafficking reported to the hotline. The power of each call varies upon the circumstances; recently, one TAT call led to the recovery of nine girls, the arrest of two people, and the bust of a 13-state prostitution ring.
TAT works with 46 U.S. trucking associations, including 16 that have adopted at least part of its response model. To facilitate such interconnectedness, TAT has brought together coalitions in 18 cities across 16 states.
In 2015, TAT was awarded the Suzanne McDaniel Memorial Award for Public Awareness as part of the annual Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus Awards. TAT works with many of the major trucking employers and companies, such as Bridgestone, Volvo, Freightliner, and Ryder. Its corporate partners also include Walmart and Coca-Cola.
USA 2009 Kendis Paris truckersagainsttrafficking.org CONTACT TO PARTNER ON: ++ Shipping Partners Program ++ Connecting with governors ++ Bringing the Freedom Drivers Project to industry events
Barrier A: Hidden From View Design Principle 4: Transform the Chain Into a Web
The number always
existed. It was already there. They just didn’t know where to call.
Pimps are most
vulnerable in transit and girls are most visible, so we create a localized response. We gather carriers, state trucking associations, the Attorney General’s office, FBI, U.S. attorneys, state troopers, and local officials. It’s important to get both industry and law enforcement on the same page.
Call Workers. Combine Responses. Share Truth. WHAT IF low-income workers could choose where they worked based on how well they would be treated? LABORVOICES USA, GLOBAL REACH 2010
SOLUTION EXAMPLE: While working on labor provisions in trade agreements at the U.S. State Department, Kohl Gill realized he was not the only one making decisions based on questionable information. “You can’t make proper trade policy decisions as a government official, you can’t navigate your way to a good job as a worker,” Gill said. “You can’t choose a great supplier as a buyer and, even as a supplier, you can’t differentiate yourself against your competition.” Without verifiable on-the-ground information, stakeholders are walking blindly through their supply chains, unable to understand the situation and bring about real reform. LaborVoices (LV) facilitates greater transparency in international labor markets by crowdsourcing intelligence directly from laborers via mobile phone surveys and using it to push for changes within supply chains. LV works with local organizations to reach out to workers and provide them with a toll-free number that they can dial to connect to audio portals programmed in regional languages. Once connected, workers both contribute content about a range of topics related to their working conditions and receive information about their rights and local services. LV then aggregates this workergenerated information and analyzes it to produce credible, real-time, and actionable reporting on working conditions around the world. Such information has tremendous value for a wide range of stakeholders, including international labor rights organizations and big corporate brands, that can use the information to promote and track working conditions. Ultimately, LV sees itself as a platform to connect workers around the world and thus facilitates improved transparency in global supply chains.
To date, 350 workers have used the LaborVoices platform in India, Bangladesh, Argentina, and four other countries. In addition to these areas of current operation, LV has the capacity to support projects in more than 50 countries worldwide. LV is currently working with C&A Foundation and USAID individually to implement its platform in Turkey and Bangladesh respectively.
With its unique combination of local outreach, regional languages, and constant communication, LV finds itself with 14 times as much participation as other peer organizations conducting worker surveys.
After using the LV platform, factories have taken measures to reduce harassment, while conditions and productivity have improved. For example, LV’s case study in Bangladesh shows the incidence of verbal abuse dropped 33 percent, 93 percent of toilets were cleaner, and the overall factory rating increased by 53 percent. On average, factories that use the LV platform have been able to improve working conditions by an average of 50 percent.
Kohl Gill laborvoices.com CONTACT TO LEARN HOW TO PARTNER Barrier A: Hidden From View Design Principle 1: Unite More Than Voice
You can’t make proper trade policy decisions as a government official, you can’t navigate your way to a good job as a worker. You can’t choose a great supplier as a buyer and, even as a supplier, you can’t differentiate yourself against your competition.
We connect workers in supply chain factories and farms around the world. Our goal is to build a TripAdvisor for workers that allows them to find the best jobs available to them.
Peer-to-Peer Organic Certification Empowers Farmers WHAT IF growing organic was not only sustainable, but also affordable for small producers? CENTRO ECOLÓGICO SOLUTION EXAMPLE: Laércio Meirelles started working with peasant farmers in the early ‘80s and soon discovered that their day-to-day lives were highly dependent on outside organizations. While small producers struggle to make ends meet, foreign certification agencies parachute into local communities to verify their claims. This approach not only disempowers peasant farmers, but also restricts their access to the international market where certifications—such as those used in organic agriculture—signal higher quality to consumers and yield higher incomes for farmers. Through Centro Ecológico, Meirelles has introduced the Participatory Guarantee System, an alternative model to organic certification that puts farmers in charge of the certification process. Instead of relying on third-party certifiers, PGS gives farmers the authority to certify adherence to current organic standards using a peer review system. Produce and cotton farmers from the same region typically visit each other on a yearly basis, though some more intensive crops demand more frequent inspections. Farmers then sign a document certifying each other’s organic practices. Centro Ecológico supplements these visits with regular trainings on organic practices, as well as business and management skills trainings. Reconnecting the local and organic movements, Meirelles prioritizes selling to local markets, ensuring that farmers have a living income while negotiating with larger retailers. Another major effort of Meirelles’s work is building the legislative environment to support PGS, helping regional governments craft policies that allow for alternative certification methods. He has also recently begun aligning with the Fair Trade movement. In so doing, Centro Ecológico makes organic harvesting processes accessible for small producers, opening international markets and increasing incomes, all while returning control to farmers.
In Brazil alone, Centro Ecológico’s efforts have reached more than 10,000 farmers. This includes working with almost 40 associations of ecological farmers, covering a total of 320 families.
Centro Ecológico has also spread PGS to several other Latin American countries, including Peru, Bolivia, and Paraguay, which all have vibrant social movements around PGS.
Meirelles is working to secure international legal legitimacy for PGS. To date, Meirelles has successfully worked with the governments of Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, and Costa Rica to accept the PGS system under law. There are also several pending legislative drafts in Uruguay, Peru, El Salvador, and Paraguay.
BRAZIL, PERU, BOLIVIA 1985 Laércio Meirelles centroecologico.org/br Barrier B: A Job is Not Enough Design Principle 2: Activate Local Know-How for Driving Solutions
The process of
certification used to be called third-party certification—where someone from the outside has to come to verify the process. The power of certification is not with the peasants, it is with foreign companies.
We don’t change the
standards. We change the methodology of verification. It’s not a company that comes from outside to guarantee our products, but the community itself is visiting each other guaranteeing their process.
Investigate, Educate, and Empower Citizenry to be Changemakers WHAT IF every citizen could help ensure all modern forms of slavery were eradicated? REPÓRTER BRASIL BRAZIL 2001
SOLUTION EXAMPLE: After witnessing the Timorese people fight for their own survival, Leonardo Sakamoto set out to uncover and document slave labor in his own country, realizing so many were oblivious to restricted freedoms and inhumane working conditions. He sought to activate society around an issue that had previously been invisible—forced labor and its 21 million victims, including many in the apparel industry. Since 2001, Repórter Brasil has been at the forefront of investigative journalism about dirty supply chains, uncovering new linkages between unknown suppliers and well-known brands and then sharing them with stakeholders who can demand change. The organization investigates the social, labor, and environmental conditions of local factories to understand the current state of forced labor in modern consumer products, such as clothing. Repórter Brasil’s internationally renowned news branch then shares this information via television, radio, and the Web. It also creates educational materials, so that school teachers can raise awareness of the signs of slavery in rural areas where it is common, even recognizing the most active teacher with an annual “Slavery No More!” award. The organization then traces the factories upstream to identify which well-known brands are employing unethical and unsustainable suppliers. Repórter Brasil uses these connections to inform the brands about dirty supply chains and to pressure them to join a pact called Brazil’s National Pact for the Eradication of Slave Labor. Through this pact, Repórter Brasil is able to ensure that banks refuse loans to any brands who appear on the “Dirty List.” In so doing, Repórter Brasil uncovers invisible supply chain connections and builds channels for governments, corporations, banks, and activists to pressure suppliers to change. Recently, Sakamoto has begun engaging consumers as critical levers of change, using the Moda Livre app to share brands’ self-reported responses to slave labor in a userfriendly way.
Repórter Brasil’s app has reached more than 150 cities, 3,000 teachers in eight states of Brazil, and indirectly benefitted more than 200,000 children. Thousands of users have downloaded the app.
A map of the linkages between products produced with slave labor and their parent companies served as the foundation for the National Pact, which now has 100 members. The organization also helped found similar state- and city-level commissions in São Paolo.
Repórter Brasil informs major international organizations about the domestic state of slave labor, including Greenpeace, Catholic Relief Services, and SOMO in the Netherlands. The organization also advises the UN, ILO, the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as organizations in 11 other countries around the world.
Leonardo Sakamoto reporterbrasil.org/br CONTACT TO LEARN HOW TO PARTNER Barrier A: Hidden From View Barrier C: Consumers Are Unaware or Unmotivated Design Principle 1: Unite More Than Voice Design Principle 3: Disrupt Business as Usual
I told stories about
human rights and began to understand how social relations are established—and how you can influence them. We live in this world where anybody can have a voice and anyone can amplify this voice.
With the internet, new models of information are changing quickly. We try to use new narratives to try and get people’s attention. We try to develop new ways to communicate the same information, according to different audiences.
Female Producers, Female Consumers, Connect + Collaborate WHAT IF all women in the value chain acted as though they were responsible for each other’s wellbeing? FEM INTERNATIONAL SOLUTION EXAMPLE: There have been more than 2.5 million immigrants to Canada in the last 10 years. More than half of them are women who face discrimination and other systemic barriers, especially to employment. Starting a business venture is not often an option for women, particularly underemployed immigrant women. Launching a successful business requires technical and managerial training, access to markets, and financing. Immigrant women have little access to this kind of support and, as a result, they are often confined to poverty. Through FEM International, Lis Suarez-Visbal aims to empower women to discover their potential through ethical fashion and business practices. For small producers, FEM International offers capacity-building training, connects a vibrant network of women to establish retail partnerships, and offers bi-national co-creation opportunities for ecological designers around the world. FEM also operates an eco-fashion collective and boutique. For consumers, FEM works to build awareness by commissioning market studies, offering classes in schools, and creating opportunities for fashion students to learn about the value chain in the classroom and in the field. Suarez-Visbal is also working with a retail chain in Montreal to create a circular economy program. In so doing, FEM is creating a better ecological and social lifestyle for both the people who create the products and the people who wear them.
Over the last year, FEM has organized more than 20 local events and repurposed 214 pounds of clothes from landfills. Fifty-six percent of those who participated in its programs were local designers and 58 percent were immigrants. In total, 4,000 people have been sensitized. Since its creation, FEM has directly impacted 1,000 women-led projects that support the livelihoods of twice as many other women around the globe.
FEM has partnered with local women’s citizen organizations around the world to deliver its capacity-building methodology in Canada, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, India, Mali, and Thailand.
In 2010, 47 percent of women trained by Suarez-Visbal increased their revenue and 29 percent started their own business. In addition, 85 percent of women who participate in FEM programs have expanded their networks.
CANADA, GLOBAL REACH 2005 Lis Suarez-Visbal feminternational.org CONTACT TO PARTNER ON: ++ Running school ethical fashion awareness program ++ Supporting finance market access ++ Creating circular economy program
Barrier C: Consumers Are Unaware or Unmotivated Barrier D: Sustainability is Not Yet in the DNA Design Principle 1: United More Than Voice Design Principle 3: Disrupt Business as Usual
Seventy-five percent of
people who work in the fashion industry around the globe are women and 75 percent of people who consume fashion products are women. We saw a way to connect these two worlds of production and consumption.
Instead of thinking ‘You are a buyer and I am a seller,’ they start to see it all as collective work.
Rating System Enables Investment in Sustainable Agriculture WHAT IF sustainable production methods enabled agricultural producers to stay competitive? SCOPEINSIGHT NETHERLANDS, EAST AFRICA, LATIN AMERICA 2010
SOLUTION EXAMPLE: Because agriculture is considered high-risk in the financial industry, many farmers lack the capital needed to grow their businesses, employ people, and increase their sustainability. In particular, the “missing middle” are often excluded from financial support, insurance, and other services. These farms are too large to access microfinance capital and yet too small to access bank support provided to larger agribusinesses. Simons created SCOPEinsight to rate and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of medium-sized agricultural producer groups. Local people are trained to quickly and efficiently assess farmer organizations, decreasing the need for expensive consultants. SCOPEinsight then shares the information with financial institutions, as well as with the farmers themselves, so they can learn how to improve their operations and become more sustainable. As such, SCOPEinsight strengthens local communities and improves financial access for the “missing middle.”
Lucas Simons scopeinsight.com CONTACT TO PARTNER ON: ++ ICT expertise ++ Business model development ++ Strategy for organic cotton
Barrier A: Hidden From View Design Principle 1: Unite More Than Voice
SCOPEinsight has completed more than 400 assessments, reaching about 1.4 million farmers through their organizations. The farmers working with SCOPEinsight represent four sectors and more than 40 different crops—primarily in agriculture and dairy farming.
The organization serves East Africa, West Africa, Central America, and has recently been exploring expansion in Southeast Asia. In total, the organization creates impact in 15 countries.
SCOPEinsight’s strategic partners include International Finance Corporation, ICCO, and Clifford Chance. Simons spoke at the 2015 Clinton Global Initiative.
It’s one thing to certify farmers and link them to markets. But if they want to be an entrepreneur, then they should also have access to inputs and finances.
We are like the
cornerstones in Roman arches. The cornerstone itself has no value, but without it, the arch doesn’t exist. We are the language without which nothing would change.
Enabling Producers to Become Board Members WHAT IF all workers co-managed the brands they worked for and received equal incomes for their efforts? JUSTA TRAMA BRAZIL, SPAIN 2005
SOLUTION EXAMPLE: Like so many other workers in the apparel supply chain, Nelsa Nespolo once felt disenfranchised in the production process, having no sense of her place in the chain and therefore having no bargaining power against the middlemen who do. Without control or comprehensive understanding, workers like Nespolo are often subject to the whims of corporations, random shutdowns, and low wages that confine them to cycles of poverty. Justa Trama breaks this cycle, connecting and empowering producers to create a new kind of value chain. The model connects every actor in the production chain—from farm worker to seamstress—into a collective that governs the supply chain process. Representatives from every link in the chain comprise Justa Trama’s executive board which meets every quarter, democratically making decisions regarding management, business intelligence, and equal income distribution. Unlike “fair trade” initiatives that ask consumers to pay a premium for an ethically produced product, Nespolo’s “fair chain” model increases workers’ wages while also conferring to laborers management responsibility and ownership. Justa Trama links this production chain to consumers, filling corporate bulk orders and marketing its brand at regional stores, trade fairs, and even online. Justa Trama not only gives workers control over their financial futures, but also changes the very nature of supply chains—instead of being disenfranchised from the process, now producers are intimately connected to each other and the products they create.
Justa Trama works with 35 cooperatives across the entire value chain. The organization has retail relationships with Greenpeace, the World Social Forum, and numerous smaller retailers in Brazil.
The fair chain model ensures that workers are better paid. “Every single worker earns more working with us than with any other textile industry player,” Nespolo said. Higher wages do not mean higher end prices, however: Justa Trama products have a lower price point than the competition in Brazil.
Justa Trama recently received the prestigious BNDES award, celebrating the organization’s leadership in the solidarity economy. Cooperatives in Venezuela have begun adopting the Justa Trama model.
Nelsa Nespolo justatrama.com/br CONTACT TO PARTNER ON: ++ Natural pigments ++ Bed and bath market line; children’s wear ++ Store and cotton production expansion
Barrier D: Sustainability is Not Yet in the DNA Design Principle 2: Activate Local Know-How for Driving Solutions Design Principle 4: Transform the Chain Into a Web
Every single worker
earns more working with us than with any other textile industry player.
Designers Pressure Brands to Establish Long-Term Relationships With Suppliers WHAT IF every business only used natural materials that were environmentally safe? CANOPY CANADA, GLOBAL REACH 1999
SOLUTION EXAMPLE: As a seasoned environmental activist, Nicole Rycroft could often be found protesting to keep loggers out of endangered forests. Yet she soon realized that blockades could only stave off the chainsaws. With close to 100 million trees logged annually for fabrics— one-third of which come from ancient and endangered forests—a long-term strategy demanded a shift in consumption, especially among corporations. “As most of us who have strong-willed partners or teenagers in our lives know, behavioral change is very difficult to influence,” Rycroft said. “To do that with 400 million Canadians and U.S. citizens is almost impossible.” Instead, Canopy focuses on changing the behavior of a select influential few. Canopy, which Rycroft founded in 1999, is safeguarding the biodiversity and the long-term survival of ancient forests by shifting consumption away from products that originate in endangered forests throughout the world. Rycroft developed her model in the publishing industry and has now begun replicating it in the viscose fiber supply chain. Through Canopy Style, Rycroft works with leading designers to put pressure on brands to develop cutting-edge environmental sourcing policies which in turn incentivize the logging industry to change its practices. Canopy Style develops a lot of the templates and tools to streamline the process for those who join the group. In addition, the coalition is working at the research and development level to pilot nonwood alternative viscose options. By creating a market demand for environmentally sound alternatives, Canopy stimulates investment in ecologically safe practices and the production of alternative materials, while also establishing a solution pathway that government actors can continue to monitor and enforce.
Canopy collaborates with more than 700 organizations worldwide. Canopy Style founded the “Fashion Loved by Forest” campaign with Zara-Inditex and H&M, Levi Strauss & Co., Marks & Spencer, Eileen Fisher, Quiksilver, prAna, and Patagonia.
The campaign now includes 30 global brands, retailers, and designers, including the top three viscose producers, representing 50 percent of all viscose production. Through its coalition-building efforts, Canopy Style has aggregated a consortium of brands with annual sales that total more than $75 billion. All of these brands have pledged to be forest-free.
Canopy is most well-known for greening the “Harry Potter” book series and now works to develop paper alternatives, such as straw-based and post-consumer recycled paper.
Nicole Rycroft canopystyle.org CONTACT TO LEARN HOW TO PARTNER Barrier D: Sustainability is Not Yet in the DNA Design Principle 3: Disrupt Business as Usual Design Principle 4: Transform the Chain Into a Web
Human rights violations
and environmental degradation take place within the context of the global economy. Unsustainable consumption in generally more Western countries is driving destruction around the world.
If we could shift the
behavioral practices of 500 individuals—CEOs or senior executives that worked within companies that bought a lot of forest fiber—we could drive change upstream and institutionalize sustainable purchasing decisions in the long-term.
Connect Source + Destination. Support Migrant Workers Holistically. WHAT IF workers could move about without sacrificing their rights? AAJEEVIKA BUREAU SOLUTION EXAMPLE: With few economic opportunities in their home villages, the rural poor are increasingly moving to urban areas in search of jobs. Indeed, two out of every 10 Indians have migrated across state lines,29 including 11 million who are employed in the textile industry.30 Most migrants belong to the bottom of the social ladder, facing long work hours, poor treatment from employers, low wages, no permanent shelter, and absolutely no access to services, such as health, finance, or legal aid. Without proper documentation and registration, it is difficult to protect and empower migrant workers. Aajeevika Bureau provides a holistic approach to the protection of the livelihoods and dignity of migrants and reinforces their valid identity as legitimate contributors to a nation’s economy. The organization simultaneously addresses push and pull factors by working both at migrants’ points of departure and their destinations. At points of departure, Rajiv Khandelwal offers job training, help with job search and placement, and ongoing support for workers’ families. Destination services include shelter, health and financial services, as well as legal literacy, mediation services, and support to form flexible unions. One of the most unique components of Aajeevika Bureau’s work is its issue of identity cards, which migrants can use for legal status protection and job referrals. The cards also allow the Bureau to maintain a database of migrants, which not only supports its research efforts as part of the Center for Migration and Labor Studies, but also influences government policies and informs the Bureau’s service offerings. In this way, Khandelwal’s all-inclusive approach grants migrants access to the previously inaccessible formal sociopolitical, legal, and economic systems, transforming the viability of migrant labor and the wellbeing of rural communities.
To date, 100,000 migrant workers have acquired identity cards and 5,000 have received skills training. Four thousand migrant households receive financial services through Aajeevika Bureau’s partner, the Rajasthan Shram Sarathi Association (RSSA).
In response to demands for formalization, Aajeevika has promoted 34 workers collectives and three registered trade unions with membership of around 15,000 people.
Currently, a total of 30 organizations across nine states in India are implementing Aajeevika Bureau’s model. “There is no written documentation, no formal contracts. There is no transparent understanding of how much people will be paid or of social security. These people don’t typically organize, unionize, or collectivize. That is why we call this the unorganized sector,” Khandelwal said. “Our services reduce the hardships that migrant workers face, create long-term social protection for them, and also enable them to connect for better bargaining, mutual support, or solidarity.”
INDIA 2005 Rajiv Khandelwal aajeevika.org CONTACT TO LEARN HOW TO PARTNER Barrier A: Hidden From View Barrier B: A Job is Not Enough Design Principle 1: United More Than Voice Design Principle 4: Transform the Chain Into a Web
There is no written
documentation, no formal contracts. There is no transparent understanding of how much people will be paid or of social security. These people don’t typically organize, unionize, or collectivize. That is why we call this the unorganized sector.
Our services reduce
the hardships that migrant workers face, create long-term social protection for them and also, enable them to connect for better bargaining, mutual support, or solidarity. 51
Build Sustainable Ecosystems for Natural Fiber Industries WHAT IF natural fiber alternatives were the industry norm? BOMBAY HEMP COMPANY SOLUTION EXAMPLE: Visiting his maternal home as a young boy, Sanvar Oberoi witnessed the harsh realities of a farmer’s life in India. However, it wasn’t until college that he began seeing the lack of livable income as a direct result of an agricultural economy that disproportionately valued processing and retail over farming. “We want farmers to demand a larger value of the end product,” Oberoi said, speaking for his six other co-founders. “We believe that’s easiest when taking a plant and creating multiple monetization models from its component parts. It hedges a farmer’s risk.” Creating new industries would give farmers a competitive edge and greatly improve their income. BOHECO systematically builds supportive ecosystems that make profitable crops a mainstay of India’s agricultural sector, while viewing farmers as primary stakeholders. To begin, BOHECO has worked with many unconventional stakeholders to literally create a new industry for industrial hemp, with plans to expand its model to other natural fiber crops. BOHECO first works with policymakers to craft the legislative and regulatory environment to support new crop cultivation. It then engages agricultural research institutes to develop a resilient seed that meets both industry standards and local conditions. BOHECO works with farmer groups to understand growing patterns and pilot new crop varieties, while getting microfinance organizations to offer investment. Moving up the value chain, Oberoi works with local women’s groups and designers to turn the fibers into products. Oberoi also visits fashion schools to build future sustainable demand. By developing India’s natural fiber industry, BOHECO is unlocking the potential of natural fibers to reinvent existing monetization models and significantly boost farmers’ incomes.
Since its inception 18 months ago, BOHECO has worked with rural Himalayan communities in three states in India. Currently, 20 artisan families produce hemp through the company and BOHECO has plans to reach 450 families by 2017.
By facilitating producer-consumer communication, rural seamstresses are for the first time being thanked for their work. “Women gained more than confidence. One woman came up to me and said, ‘We finally see a sense of purpose in our lives.’ That gave me goosebumps,” Oberoi said.
BOHECO is currently working on cross-country replication and is in conversations with as many as six countries, including South Africa, Indonesia, and the United States, to support indigenous populations.
INDIA 2013 Sanvar Oberoi boheco.org CONTACT TO PARTNER ON: ++ Product development ++ Marketing + distribution ++ Machinery + technology
Barrier D: Sustainability is Not Yet in the DNA Design Principle 3: Disrupt Business as Usual Design Principle 4: Transform the Chain Into a Web
Agriculture is one
industry where the gap in per capita income between the first person in the value chain and the second, third, and fourth person is significantly lower.
We realized that what
we really need is a lot of demand in three to four years from now. We don’t need to target the big brands of today. We need to start engaging with fashion students.
Factory Daycare Centers Enable Women to Be Working Mothers WHAT IF all low-income women could care for their children and be financially independent? PHULKI BANGLADESH 1991
SOLUTION EXAMPLE: Women represent 40 percent of the workforce in Bangladesh31 and are often paid less than men. Without affordable and high quality child care options, women have fewer opportunities for independent economic advancement and children suffer from poor early childhood development. Suraiya Haque saw this endemic challenge first-hand when interviewing a mother to be her household help. After turning the woman away because she brought her child, Haque’s decision haunted her.
Suraiya Haque phulkibd.org CONTACT TO LEARN HOW TO PARTNER Barrier B: A Job is Not Enough
In 1991, Haque became the first person to introduce and implement workplace-based daycare centers in Bangladesh. Phulki works with factory owners to offer on-site daycare centers so that female workers can hold jobs without giving up important child-rearing practices, such as breastfeeding. While factory owners pay for the facility, mothers contribute to the operating cost of the center, including paying for caretakers who receive proper training in hygiene, nutrition, and early childhood development. Phulki operates the centers for several months and then gives factories the option to assume management control or compensate the organization to continue its managerial role. Phulki has since expanded to operate a 24/7 helpline for factory women and offers training on sexual, reproductive, and labor rights, as well as sharing parenting advice in community groups. Phulki’s success is perhaps most notable in how it is fundamentally changing the way women feel about themselves. Phulki is changing attitudes toward women in the workforce, while lowering the costs of child care, increasing nutrition and health awareness in low-income communities, and improving children’s likelihood of staying in school.
Design Principle 1: United More Than Voice Design Principle 4: Transform the Chain Into a Web
I realized that if I hadn’t
appointed her, no one else would have. I had pushed her into an undesirable profession, so I would have to do something.
Phulki operates 25 factory-based daycares and about 75 more in communities, offices, and government departments. These 100 daycares serve 2,000 to 3,000 children every day.
The Phulki model has become so popular that numerous organizations are replicating it around the country. The Secretariat of Bangladesh has incorporated the model into its workplace environment and UNICEF is working to scale-up the model nationally. Moreover, 30 organizations around Dhaka are currently replicating Phulki’s model.
In addition to daycares, Phulki’s other programs have become widespread across Dhaka. More than 90,000 women and men have completed Phulki’s health awareness program in factories. Phulki’s 24/7 helpline also covers 300 to 400 factories.
Shift Mindsets, Enable the Poor to Take Ownership Over Their Lives WHAT IF everyone believed they could change their life, community, and the world? YO QUIERO YO PUEDO MEXICO, GLOBAL REACH 2009
SOLUTION EXAMPLE: Susan Pick experienced first-hand an antiquated education system which disempowered its students, depriving her and her peers of any agency. Without nurturing curiosity, critical thinking, or creativity, schools are failing to equip their students with the necessary life skills to reach their potential and become active participants in their communities. Yo Quiero Yo Puedo’s model centers on the idea of intrinsic empowerment whereby individuals discover their own talents and skills and use them to become agents of change. Each program incorporates exercises to enable people to develop their emotional, cognitive, and social skills, whether through a focus on health, education, citizenship, or livelihood. Yo Quiero Yo Puedo works with individuals from preschool through old age and has recently begun working with factory workers to understand their rights, see their own potential, and become changemakers in their own communities.
Over the past 30 years, Yo Quiero Yo Puedo has reached more than 20 million people in 15 countries globally, including 40 programs in Mexico alone.
Pick has shared her methodology in a scholarly textbook published by the Oxford University Press (“Breaking the Poverty Cycle”), as well as through more than 280 articles and books, some of which have been used as national textbooks reaching close to 12 million children.
In the most recent pilot in factories, Yo Quiero Yo Puedo worked with 1,000 workers in Mexico and Honduras for 15 minutes a day over 18 weeks. At the end of 18 weeks, factories reported a 75 percent reduction in absenteeism, a 39 percent reduction in faulty pieces, and three times better work-life balance. Workers also reported better life skills, communication, decision-making, empathy, self-knowledge and problem solving after less than 1,500 minutes of program interaction.
Susan Pick yoquieroyopuedo.org/mx CONTACT TO LEARN HOW TO PARTNER Barrier B: A Job is Not Enough Design Principle 2: Activate Local Know-How for Driving Solutions
We treat them as
people first, before workers. In that way they come to value themselves and understand how they are part of the system. That helps them see how they can contribute, but also, how the system can contribute to them.
Share Risk. Improve Capacity. Build Sustainable Demand. WHAT IF farming were a sustainable livelihood for rural communities? ROOT CAPITAL USA, AFRICA, LATIN AMERICA
SOLUTION EXAMPLE: “The farmers were working hard to improve the lives of hundreds of indigenous families, while struggling with drug traffickers in the jungle around them,” Willy Foote said, recounting the vanilla cooperative that inspired him to found Root Capital. Chronic lack of access to capital makes agriculture risky and therefore forces farmers to make short-term decisions for food and income that are often harmful to the environment, long-term economic development, and their family’s wellbeing. Caught in a vicious cycle of poverty, rural communities subsist in a cycle of environmental and social degradation. Root Capital aims to grow rural prosperity by investing in agribusinesses that build sustainable livelihoods. Root Capital offers short- and long-term credit to small and growing businesses previously considered unbankable by connecting them with the global market and then lending against their stable contracts. In doing so, producers get contracts with large retailers like Whole Foods and Starbucks, while banks can redistribute the risk ordinarily associated with small and growing businesses (SGBs) away from those who are most vulnerable. To build business acumen, the organization also offers SGBs financial advisory services and extensive R&D to find ways to increase impact. Through all of its work toward financial access, Root Capital promotes sustainable agriculture, only lending to SGBs who meet its social and ecological standards.
Root Capital currently loans $190 million to 650 businesses, covering two million families and 11 million people.
Sixty-three percent of clients are growing at 20 percent or more per year and 30 percent of clients are growing at 50 percent or more per year. In 2012, clients paid $467 million to purchase crops from local farmers.
Example: Root Capital’s inaugural loan in Liberia helped establish a “Made in Liberia” apparel line that went on to work with prAna and H&M. The women involved led the peace movement that swept then-President Charles Taylor from power. As Foote said, “The women’s first revolution: to bring peace back to Liberia. Their second revolution: to elect the first female president in the history of Africa. The third revolution: to sustain the peace by creating employment and lasting economic development in Liberia. These women are truly inspirational.”
*Interview conducted with Liam Brody, Senior Vice President of Communications and Marketing, Root Capital.
1999 Willy Foote* rootcapital.org CONTACT TO LEARN HOW TO PARTNER Barrier B: A Job is Not Enough Design Principle 4: Transform the Chain Into a Web
The vanilla cooperative failed not because of the drug traffickers, as one would think, but because the farmers lacked access to capital, markets, and basic business skills they needed to succeed.
Companies realize that
if they don’t make these investments now, the product won’t be there later. And if the product won’t be there later, the companies won’t be there later. Liam Brody Senior Vice President of Communications and Marketing, Root Capital 55
Appendix APPENDIX A: ABOUT SOCIAL INNOVATION MAPPING METHODOLOGY AND A CASE FOR BOLD OPTIMISM
As a network of the leading social entrepreneurs, Ashoka has intimately explored how an entrepreneurial mindset can unlock solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. Across more than 75 countries and dozens of sectors, dauntless social entrepreneurs in Ashoka’s Fellowship network are transforming complex challenges and previously unsolvable problems into opportunities. They create sustainable solutions for the communities they are rooted within and find creative ways to ensure their impact spreads regionally, and even globally, to become new and widespread norms. Based upon interviews and case studies of both industry experts and Ashoka Fellows, Social Innovation Mapping illustrates common patterns in how social entrepreneurs are creating positive social change. It centers around two types of patterns: Barriers, or the components of a complex problem entrepreneurs have chosen to focus on tackling, and Design Principles, or the innovative approach that is a defining feature of entrepreneurs’ work, based upon their decades of iteration on the ground. This report tells the stories of effective solutions in order to make the case for bold optimism and to inspire a vision of a better future. These pages should be seen as an invitation to re-envision what is possible through the eyes of entrepreneurs.
PATTERN-RECOGNITION PROCESS Ashoka’s Social Innovation Mapping process begins by determining a single framing question. The question both describes the shift we hope to see around a given issue in the future, as well as the goal of the organizations and entrepreneurs whose work we include in the mapping. Next, we sift through Ashoka’s Fellow database of more than 3,000 solutions from social entrepreneurs to select those most applicable to the field. The Fellows have already undergone a rigorous approval process before their election to the Fellowship, which includes a thorough vetting of their ideas and performance. Next, we pare down the pool of solutions to those that are the most relevant and innovative to the framing question, focusing on selecting 15-30 solutions for case studies and interviews. Finally, we cluster them and look for patterns in how the innovators both define the problem they face and what they do to solve it. These patterns can point to powerful ways to reframe a problem, as well as new ways of addressing it. Ultimately, this analysis reveals the “a-ha” moment of recognition in which a social entrepreneur accurately pairs a powerful idea with a compelling need. (See Figure 3.) Once the analysis is mapped in a grid, the distribution of the solutions becomes apparent, showing which strategies are most commonly (and most powerfully) used. Additionally, the grid can point to “holes” or areas where there may be unmet potential for a solution or innovation.
THE STRENGTHS OF SOCIAL INNOVATION MAPPING Mapping outlines a social entrepreneur’s view of the world by focusing on common patterns across solutions. Social entrepreneurs design solutions that address the thorniest aspect of effecting change: human interactions in a system. Analyzing their solutions can predict and show ways to circumvent behavioral barriers to change and unlock lasting, systemic transformation. Mapping allows successful solutions to be examined in context with one another. The mapping shows how ideas relate to one another, as well as highlights the core elements of a problem. The result is the emergence of clear patterns and questions to investigate: Which aspects of a problem are as yet unaddressed? Are some strategies underutilized or overutilized? Is there an aspect of a problem that has yet to be named? Are there holes in the system that await the design of a new solution? Mapping provides the blueprint for a theory of change at a systems level. The patterns and insights revealed by Social Innovation Mapping can lead to the development of a strategy that integrates a mix of solutions, which can lead to an overall increase in energy and resources applied to the problem. While any theory of change is subjective, this contextual mapping allows for a holistic approach to problem solving. Mapping creates criteria for predicting success. The Design Principles and Barriers provide a road map for evaluating new projects and for guiding the innovation of new ideas.
PATTERN-RECOGNITION METHODOLOGY 1 The following diagram describes Ashoka’s analysis process used for Social Innovation Mapping.
PATTERN-RECOGNITION METHODOLOGY 2 The following diagram describes Ashoka’s analysis process used to identify the barriers and design principles.
IDENTIFY DESIGN PRINCIPLES
CREATE SOCIAL INNOVATION MAPPING
HOW THE SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS WERE CHOSEN FOR ANALYSIS IN THIS REPORT This Social Innovation Mapping report is guided by the following framing question: How can we transform the apparel industry to build a sustainable and equitable value chain? Using this framing question as a focal point for finding cross-cutting insights, 150 relevant Ashoka Fellows and candidates were identified. This cohort was then narrowed down to 30, 20 of whom were chosen for their innovative models that could be applied to benefit stakeholders within the apparel industry. Together, their projects are creating impact in more than seven countries around the world and across the value chain—from organic cotton farmers in Brazil to garment workers in Mexico to consumers in India.
SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS INTERVIEWED
Founder and Director, Goonj India Page Featured: 36
Founder and CEO, Naya Jeevan Pakistan Page Featured: 37
Founder and Executive Director, PODER Mexico, Latin America Page Featured: 38
Founder and Director, SourceInternational Nicaragua, Mexico, Latin America Page Featured: 39
Co-Founder and Managing Director, Invest India Micro-Pension Services (IIMPS) India Page Featured: 40
Founder, Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade (FAST) Canada, Global Page Featured: 41
Founder and Executive Director, Truckers Against Trafficking United States Page Featured: 43
Founder and CEO, LaborVoices United States, Global Page Featured: 44
Founder, Centro Ecológico Brazil, Peru, Bolivia Page Featured: 45
Founder, Repórter Brasil Brazil Page Featured: 46
Senior VP for Marketing and Communications, Root Capital United States, Africa, Latin America Page Featured: 55
Founder, Director and Major Trainer, FEM International Canada, Global Page Featured: 47
Founder and CEO, SCOPEinsight Netherlands, East Africa, Latin America Page Featured: 48
Founder, Justa Trama Brazil, Spain Page Featured: 49
Founder and Executive Director, Canopy Canada, Global Page Featured: 50
Executive Director, GoodWeave Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Germany, United States, United Kingdom Page Featured: 42
Co-Founder and Executive Director, Aajeevika Bureau India Page Featured: 51
Co-Founder and Director of Finance & Digital Technology, Bombay Hemp Company (BOHECO) India Page Featured: 52
Founder, Phulki Bangladesh Page Featured: 53
Founder and President, Yo Quiero Yo Puedo Mexico, Global Page Featured: 54
VILAS PATHIKONDA** Director of Research and Strategy, GoodWeave Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Germany, United States, United Kingdom Page Featured: 42
*Representing Root Capital, founded by Ashoka Fellow Willy Foote **Representing GoodWeave, founded by Ashoka Fellow Kailash Satyarthi
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ASHOKA FELLOWS WE INTERVIEWED
SELECTION OF ASHOKA FELLOWS
Ashoka is the worldâ€™s largest association of leading social entrepreneurs, with over 3,000 Fellows worldwide. After reviewing an initial pool of more than 10,000 candidates annually, Ashoka elects approximately 150-200 of the most promising candidates as Ashoka Fellows. In order to be elected a Fellow, each candidate undergoes an extensive interview process with Ashoka leadership and global sector experts. Each Ashoka Fellow must meet the following five criteria:
Latin America (6) North America (6)
New Idea The work of a Fellow must be genuinely unique, with the potential to cause disruptive systems change.
2. Social Impact A Fellowâ€™s idea must have clear social impact on a national, regional, or even global scale. It must address the deep, systemic problems facing society.
YEARS FOUNDED 1985-1990 (2)
2010-2015 (3) 1990-1995 (2)
2000-2005 (7) 2005-2010 (7)
Creativity A Fellow must creatively approach a situation, devise unique solutions to overcome obstacles, and build networks and partnerships for success.
4. Entrepreneurial Quality A Fellow must be passionate and dedicated to their work. He or she will not rest until the social problem is completely resolved. 5.
Ethical Fiber A Fellow must act ethically and have a high level of integrity and commitment to the social cause.
Through this five-step process, each entrepreneur is thoroughly vetted for his or her character and capability to create systemic change. The process is long but fruitful. In fact, many candidates describe the selection procedure as one of the most difficult but enlightening experiences of their careers.
YEARS ELECTED TO ASHOKA FELLOWSHIP
Candidates must communicate their ideas, scrutinize their methods, and reflect on themselves as individuals. Ashoka then provides stipends to allow Fellows the financial flexibility to fully dedicate themselves to their new ideas.
APPENDIX B: INDUSTRY EXPERTS INTERVIEWED LEADERS CHOSEN FOR THEIR EXPERIENCE
ALICE TEPPER MARLIN
Founder Social Accountability International
Founder, Good Guide Associate Professor, UC Berkeley
GABRIELA (GABY) CAMPUZANO
Executive Director TechnoServe Mexico
Executive Director Instituto C&A
Head of Sustainability Fundación C&A
Executive Director Chetna Organic
Principal The Cahn Group
Founder Zameen Organic
President and Chief Executive Officer Instituto Akatu
Head of Supply Chain Innovation and Transformation C&A Foundation
Senior Consultant Verite
Executive Director ABVTEX
Founder and CEO Indigenous Designs Corporation
APPENDIX C: ENDNOTES 1.
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Passariello and Kapner.
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16. Mason, Margie, Robin McDowell, Martha Mendoza, and Esther Htusan. “Global Supermarkets Selling Shrimp Peeled by Slaves.” The Big Story. Associated Press, 14 Dec. 2015. Web. 16 Jan. 2016. <http://bigstory.ap.org/article/8f64fb25931242a985bc30e3f5a9a0b2/ap-global-supermarkets-selling-shrimp-peeled-slaves>.
com/news_and_views/articles/consumers-want-more-eco-friendly-apparel>. 19. “What Are the Impacts of the Present Models of Production and Consumption?” UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform. Akatu Institute for Conscious Consumption, 2013. Web. 16 Jan. 2016. <https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/ content/documents/5508mattar.pdf>. 20. Aizenman, Nurith. “Do These Jeans Make Me Look Unethical?” NPR. 7 Jan. 2016. Web. 16 Jan. 2016. <http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2016/01/07/462132196/do-these-jeansmake-me-look-unethical>. 21. Bennett, Lisa. “5 Empathetic Strategies To Inspire Climate Action Now.” Forbes Change in the Making. Forbes.com, 5 Aug. 2014. Web. 16 Jan. 2016. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/ ashoka/2014/08/05/5-empathetic-strategies-to-inspire-climate-action-now/#2715e4857a0b579354345415>.
28. “Factsheet on Human Trafficking.” United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. United Nations. Web. 16 Jan. 2016. <https://www.unodc.org/ documents/human-trafficking/UNVTF_fs_HT_ EN.pdf>. 29. Abbas, Rameez, and Divya Varma. “Internal Labor Migration in India Raises Integration Challenges for Migrants.” Migrant Policy Institute. 3 Mar. 2014. Web. 16 Jan. 2016. <http://www.migrationpolicy. org/article/internal-labor-migration-india-raises-integration-challenges-migrants>. 30. “National Workshop on Internal Migration and Human Development in India.” United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. UNESCO and UNICEF, 2011. Web. 16 Jan. 2016. <http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0021/002187/218787e.pdf>. 31. “Gender Data Portal.” The World Bank. Web. 16 Jan. 2016. <http://datatopics.worldbank.org/gender/country/bangladesh>.
22. Stotz, Lisa, and Gillian Kane. “Facts on the Global Garment Industry.” Clean Clothes Campaign. 1 Feb. 2015. Web. 16 Jan. 2016. <http://www. cleanclothes.org/resources/publications/factsheets/general-factsheet-garment-industry-february-2015.pdf/view>. 23. Hobbes, Michael. 24. Hobbes, Michael. 25. Bader, Christine. “Whose Job Is It to Prevent Worker Abuse Abroad?” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 18 May 2015. Web. 16 Jan. 2016. <http://www.theatlantic.com/business/ archive/2015/05/the-importance-of-supplychain/393320/>. 26. Johnston, Leslie. “Are Your Clothes Doing Less Bad or More Good?” C&A Foundation Annual Report 2014. C&A Foundation, 2014. Web. 16 Jan. 2016. <http://www.candafoundation.org/annualreport2014/welcome.php>. 27. Bain, Marc. “The Neurological Pleasures of Fast Fashion.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 25 Mar. 2015. Web. 16 Jan. 2016. <http://www. theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/03/ the-neurological-pleasures-of-modern-shopping/388577/>.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Project led by Jocelyn Fong. Contributors: Valeria Budinich, Brandee M. Butler, Claudia Calderon, Isabela Carvalho, Abdullah Chowdhury, Saskia de Quant, Cynthia Drayton, Arjun Durr, Jocelyn Fong, Victoria Gaffney, Claudia Garuti, Kris Herbst, Ileana Lopez, Maria Luisa Luque, Jessica Aguero, Sachin Malhan, Giuliana Ortega, Reem Rahman, Tonya Rincon, Angelika Roth, Stephanie Schmidt, John Converse Townsend, Jill Tucker, Kristie Wang, Tucker Wannamaker. Many thanks to the interviewees for their generous contributions to this report. ASHOKA IS GRATEFUL TO C&A FOUNDATION FOR ITS SUPPORT OF THE FABRIC OF CHANGE PARTNERSHIP THAT MADE THIS REPORT POSSIBLE. CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org changemakers.com/fabricofchange
**Download link here: http://bit.ly/focreportpdf The global apparel industry is an important driver of economic growth and provides economi...
Published on Jan 25, 2016
**Download link here: http://bit.ly/focreportpdf The global apparel industry is an important driver of economic growth and provides economi...